Resources for More than 150 Blue Box Depots Across Ontario

Depot operations used to seem pretty easy: set out a few roll off bins, add a bit of signage and collect up all the waste and recyclables your residents wanted to bring to you. But that was always a myth.

Blue Box depot at Woodstock
Blue Box depot at Woodstock

Operating efficient and safe recycling depots requires planning that can more closely represent a department store than a waste management facility. Understanding the complexities in depot design, construction and operations is critical to making one work well.

For several years, CIF staff have worked closely with depot operators across the province to solve problems and identify efficiencies. Last year we hosted a Depot training session and just this spring (2016), we established a Municipal Depot Working Group – to build on the learnings to date and develop preferred strategies for best practices. And now…these resources are available for all depot operators to use and enjoy.

Starting with a new Depot webpage…
The CIF Centre of Excellence features a new webpage that’s currently housed in the “Resources” section (see main menu) . It’s at the top of the list: “Depots” and features toolkits, a depot screening survey, waste composition study guide and much more. Up at the top of the page you’ll find information about a new depot forum. If you’re a municipal or First Nations employee and you’d like to be actively involved in conversations about depots, please contact CIF staff for more information to register and take part in beta-testing this tool. We think you’re really going to like it!

In any case, we hope you’ll take a few minutes to poke around the new Depots page and let us know what works best and what else might be of interest to you.

Toolkits and guides
In June, we launched a new Small Municipal Depot Guide with about 80 pages of guidance tailored specifically to making recycling depots work well. A companion piece – the Depot Costing Model for operations and capital planning is also available and is currently under review with the Working Group. We expect to launch a new version soon – and we always welcome your comments.

Looking for info on CIF depot projects?
With over 635 project entries on the CIF projects pages, we know that it can be difficult to find exactly what you’re looking for. With that in mind, we’ve added a new webpage that’s a list of all kinds of Depot Projects that lets you search for reports by keywords and to preview each with quick description. As on the CIF “Funded Projects” webpage, you can use [CTRL] “F” (Windows) or [CMD] “F” (IOS) to search for keywords. The page is still under construction (i.e. not complete) and we hope you’ll provide feedback so we can make it work well for you. Here’s the link: Depot Project Reports sample page.

For more information on anything related to depots and to provide feedback, please contact CIF staff.