CIF Connections Blog

Development of an Alternative Glass Market: Bio-Soil from Recycled Glass

The marketplace for municipal grade mixed broken glass is relatively thin and, at the same time, quality specifications from end markets are becoming tighter, requiring added attention by MRF operators. Testing a Potential New End Market for Recovered Glass Niagara Region is seeking to create a secondary market for recycled glass in the event its current market (sandblast) slows down. CIF Project 1026 is an innovative approach to development of an economically-effective way to replace up to 85% of the sand [...]

It’s not one or the other…experience shows P&E & operational re-enforcements must go hand in hand

Promotion & Education (P&E) is the messaging to residents that builds awareness of the Blue Box program, motivates them to participate, and instructs them on how to do it properly. P&E messaging can be conveyed through a broad range of multi-media tactics and channels – newspapers, billboards, posters, flyers, calendars, guides, TV, radio, social media, apps, etc. Operational re-enforcement refers to the use of personnel, equipment, by-law or program design feature (e.g. scheduling) to bolster messaging and ensure residents have [...]

CIF Looks at the Pros and Cons of Black Plastic in Residential Recycling

Have we become diametrically opposed to Henry Ford’s “you can have any colour as long as it’s black” proclamation?  When it comes to recycling household plastics packaging the answer is a resounding “maybe”. Black plastics, or plastics that are black, have been making headlines in Ontario recently. Major municipalities have moved to eliminate black plastics from curbside collection programs citing processing issues and lack of markets as the driving forces. Other communities continue to accept black plastics at curbside. The [...]

Collection Policy Insights on New CIF Centre of Excellence Webpages

Many Ontario Blue Box recycling programs have implemented policies aimed at improving material quality and participation levels. “Bag Limit,” “Pay as You Throw” and “Clear Bag” policies are the three most frequently used, either alone or in combination. We know these policies yield all kinds of benefits, from reducing health and safety issues to increasing resident awareness of program options and, of course, increasing capture of cleaner materials. But if your program is considering implementing a new curbside collection policy, [...]

Market Trends for Post-Consumer Plastics

The following is a synopsis of two reports written by LOM Enterprises Inc. for the CIF describing market trends between 2017 and 2018. The views, opinions, and findings expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the CIF, its staff members, affiliates and/or governing bodies. The CIF makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness, correctness, suitability, or validity of this information and will not be liable for any errors or omissions in the [...]

Cost Accounting Models Used for Program and Transition Planning

During this period of policy and program change and the uncertainty that it generates, it’s important for municipalities to consider new tools available for use that provide sound evidence to aid in the decision-making process. The tools currently in development by the CIF and its partners are cost accounting models. Whether the Blue Box program transition happens sooner or later, an effective cost accounting model may aid your municipality in identifying and allocating the cost of the services you provide [...]

BRA Addresses Paper Quality Issues to Protect End Markets

Photo credit: Bluewater Recycling Association In late 2016 the Bluewater Recycling Association (BRA) received funding from the CIF to undertake a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) performance study. The primary objective of this project was to evaluate the effectiveness of the equipment and manual sorting stations at the single-stream MRF. The assessment was designed to pinpoint and prioritize the areas within the facility where an upgrade would result in improved recovery of materials and increased revenues. What was causing the problem with the [...]

Armour Township Stays Proactive Amidst Changing Conditions

Photo source: Township of Armour Armour Township is making capital investments in its blue box program. Despite uncertainty around the amended Blue Box Program Plan (a-BBPP), changing markets and municipal partnerships and being a small rural northern municipality, Armour has stayed proactive in their approach. In the fall of 2017, Armour invested in a Stationary Recycling Compactor and two 40-yard bins at the TRI Communal Landfill & Recycling Centre. The Centre is jointly managed and funded by the Municipalities of Armour, [...]

MR Contamination Minimization Campaigns: What Works & What Doesn’t?

Contamination of recyclables is a costly issue for Blue Box recycling programs province-wide. In communities like the Region of Peel, that have a sizeable MR sector, non-compliant packaging placed out for recycling can significantly burden sorting practices at the MRF and drive up costs. Over the past several years, Peel Region staff have noted that in addition to setting out unwanted items in the Blue Box, residents were increasingly placing recyclables out for collection in tied off bags and using [...]

A Bidder’s Perspective on Municipal Collection and Processing RFPs

Rick Clow, General Manage, Quinte Waste Solutions In an attempt to aid all municipalities in crafting their RFPs, and hopefully improving pricing in the process, Rick Clow from Quinte Waste Solutions (QWS) agreed to share some thoughts on the bidder’s response side of the RFP process. QWS receives RFPs from non-member Ontario municipalities for services that include Blue Box recycling collection, processing, promotion and material marketing. After review, where it is geographically feasible, QWS will complete and submit a proposal in [...]