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Here's how the County of Simcoe proposes pushing residents to participate in organics program

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The County of Simcoe is proposing introducing measures to ensure residents participate in its organics program after a recent audit revealed that nearly half of the waste tossed into garbage carts didn't belong there.

The audit also noted that one-quarter of residents are not participating in the organics program every week.

To address the shortfall, County staff are recommending a new policy: Garbage carts will only be collected if an organics cart is curbside as well.

 

Rob McCullough, the County's director of solid waste, explained that when organics end up in the landfill, they decompose. That decomposition process generates methane, and methane is "as much as 80 times more destructive as carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as a greenhouse gas."

Staff would like to see the program have a soft launch on November 1 and officially begin one month later.

The organics program aims to reduce waste dumped at the landfill. Since 2008, the County reports over 200,000 tonnes of organics have been diverted from the landfill.

Residents seeking to be exempt from the organics program, like those with composts, may have to undergo scrutiny from the County.

While the Council is prepared to consider exemptions, staff recommend visiting the property to determine whether there are any organic materials in their garbage. If approved for an exemption, those residents would be required to use clear garbage bags going forward.

To encourage everyone to participate in the organics program, the County is reducing the $50 fee for those without a cart to $25 from October 1 to the end of the year.

The new recommended measures are expected to yield an additional 3,000 tonnes of organics annually.

The County will officially vote on the proposal in the coming weeks.

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