Issue 8: December 2010
As we roll up 2010, we’d like to take this opportunity to share our hopes for the year to come, and our pride in the achievements of 2010. It has indeed been a good year in Ontario Blue Box recycling. The Continuous Improvement Fund is a portion of the annual financial obligations of the stewards to municipalities under the Blue Box Program Plan. Since the CIF began, it has approved 272 projects with funding of just over $28M. The majority of the projects were focused on implementing best practices and increasing the amount of Blue Box material collected.
This year, the CIF had a budget of $28M in funding to support projects to boost recycling effectiveness and efficiency. Ontario municipalities responded with an impressive array of projects. More than 70 projects featured new project ideas generated by municipalities around the province. In 2010 alone, the CIF supported 100 Ontario municipalities with projects to develop recycling strategies to optimize their programs. In addition to those projects, there were 27 P&E focused projects, 17 upgrades at rural transfer stations, 6 MRF upgrade projects and 5 energy audits at recycling facilities. This is in addition to the CIF subsidizing the 325,000 large recycling boxes (22 gallon or larger) and carts provided to Ontario residents, both for multi-residential and for automated curbside collection.
Waste Diversion Ontario has approved $9M in new funding for the CIF in 2011. This new funding combines with remaining funds for a total budget of about $17M for the CIF to invest in Blue Box programs. In January the CIF will be issuing a Request for Proposals for municipal projects in a number of priority areas. We encourage you to apply, we are eager to hear about your community and region-specific project ideas in addition to our priority focus areas.
Above all, we thank you for your continuing efforts to strengthen Ontario's Blue Box recycling program throughout 2010. On behalf of the CIF team, I wish you a very happy holiday season and look forward to working with you again in the New Year.
Andy Campbell, CIF Program Director
Up and Coming
for the New Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI)
in Early January
When the CIF released the REOI in February 2010, we were
delighted by the enthusiastic response and high calibre
of project ideas we received. Municipal representatives
have told us that the REOI process worked: it was clear
and straightforward and made it easy to apply for CIF funding.
The results speak for themselves: the CIF funded an additional
120 projects valued at $10 million that came directly through
this REOI process.
Building on that success, CIF staff are drafting a second
REOI for release in early January, 2011. The total budget
will be approximately $10 million, targeting projects that
- New Plastic tonnage: MRF upgrades, large Blue Boxes and higher level of funding for plastics P&E - $2.6M
- MRF and transfer infrastructure: construction of transfer facilities and MRF upgrades, compaction bins and preventative maintenance training - $4.25M
- Multi-residential initiatives for carts and the implementation of RFID systems - $1M
- Alternative fuel vehicles - $500,000
- Waste recycling plans - $1M
- Small program P&E implementation - $175,000
- Public space recycling - $500,000.
These budget (project) priorities are based in part on
input provided by the MWA survey in the fall, which asked
you to identify your key priorities. We will invite REOI
applications between early January and March 11, 2011. Please
be sure to watch your email in early January and stay tuned
to the CIF website for further information.
Session at the Ontario Recycler Workshop
One of the CIF’s goals for 2011 is to
increase recovery of recyclable plastics. Clearly, we’re
One Day to Focus on How
to Increase your Plastics Recovery
The day before the most recent Ontario Recycler Workshop (ORW)
– we pilot tested a workshop on how to add more plastics
to existing municipal Blue Box programs.
This session included discussions about boosting
plastics recovery, markets, promotion and education and more.
It was a truly interactive workshop, where a group of 30 participants
brainstormed how to break down barriers and truly integrate
plastics recovery as part of effective and efficient Blue
The workshop was free of charge, and was attended
by municipal representatives, consultants and plastic industry
representatives. At the end of the session, participants gave
us excellent feedback that we’ll use to fine-tune the
workshop for future sessions. Most of all, we found out that
this really is a vital topic and that the recycling community
needs this kind of a forum to address plastics issues!
More Plastics Workshops
The CIF plans to hold additional plastics workshops throughout
the province in the first quarter of 2011. We’ll build
on what we learned based on the feedback from the pilot workshop
and will be sure to provide the information you need to expand
and enhance the recovery of plastic packaging in your Blue
Box program. Information about upcoming sessions will be available
at the CIF website and sent out to all Connections subscribers.
Together with project support for plastic initiatives,
the workshops will contribute to the CIF goal of increasing
the capture of plastic packaging in the Blue Box.
Connecting about...CIF Projects
Waste Planning Pays off for 30 Recycling Municipalities
The 2009 WDO Datacall showed that 160
out of 217 reporting programs had their funding reduced
because they didn’t have a current recycling plan.
We believe that figure will change dramatically, as programs
develop plans with the assistance of CIF funding.
Together, we are working toward 100%
compliance with this best practice. Congratulations to
the 30 municipalities who, last year, received project
funding to develop joint recycling plans. Along with these,
there were 60 other municipalities who have initiated
recycling planning projects on their own.
Not only will these programs increase
their annual Blue Box program funding, but the communities
doing joint plans will realize economies of scale and
cost efficiencies that will help make their programs more
Co-operative recycling planning yields
substantial benefits such as co-operative tendering harmonized
promotion and education for material production, and added
weight for negotiations with mutual contractors.
Our concern is the 90 or so programs
that still don’t have a plan and have not asked
for funding to develop one. The CIF offers 75% of the
cost to develop a single program plan, up to a total of
$15K. Better yet, if you develop a joint plan, you are
eligible for up to 90% of the planning cost, up to $45K.
We’d like to help you maximize
your annual program funding – please be sure to
give us a call so we can help you meet this best practice.
As more plan projects are completed and
submitted, we’ll continue to add them to the CIF
project report listing on the website. For more information:
or contact Clayton
Code Review Focuses on Increased Multi-residential Recycling
At the November ORW we heard about the
"need to do more on multi-residential (MR) and in
particular the need to change the building code to ensure
condos and high rises are designed to handle recyclables.”
We’re getting back to you to let you know that ‘we’re
The fact that MR buildings are not designed
with diversion in mind is a near universal challenge for
municipal staff. Managing recycling is usually an ‘add-on’
which means that recycling is often inconvenient and unpleasant
with odour, lighting convenience and climate issues. When
compared with the convenience of a garbage chute, recycling
is rarely the preferred option.
The CIF is working with a team of consultants
from Genivar to look at what design changes are required
to ensure that recycling is ‘as convenient’
as garbage disposal and that future buildings are designed
with sufficient facilities to manage and store the quantities
of recyclables being generated in the buildings.
The project has three key deliverables:
- A report of “Best Practices” for the storage and collection of recyclables in multi-residential buildings, including standards for new buildings, existing and redeveloped buildings. The report is intended as a guideline for the municipal site plan approval process.
- Recommendations to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification regarding the sub-category of Collection & Storage of Recyclables for residential buildings.
- Recommendations for changes to the Ontario Building Code for legislated design requirements.
Parts 1 and 2 can be expected by mid-2011, with Part
3 coming later as the process to change Ontario regulations
will require more time.
County Puts a New Spin on Recycling
Simcoe County schools were recycling a limited selection
of Blue Box materials; however the 2010 school year saw
a dramatic expansion, with the addition of system-wide
full recycling service in elementary and secondary schools.
The County is also developing a mobile education unit
to take the recycling message to its schools and to fairs,
festivals and the wide range of public events in the area.
The decaled trailer, complete with interactive computer
games and exhibits is being designed to spread the County's
pro-recycling message and increase general knowledge of
recycling benefits and opportunities.
“Children play a significant role in influencing
adult behaviour with respect to environmental initiatives,”
stated Wilma Bureau, Contracts & Collection Supervisor
for Simcoe County. “Implementing a school-based
collection program consistent with the County’s
residential collection program will increase participation
and diversion in the residential collection program. Educating
and involving the County’s youth will also play
an important role in reducing waste generation rates in
These two projects respond to basic principles of recycling:
it has to be convenient, consistent with what people already
know and supported by continuing and engaging promotion
With these measures, the County expects to capture an
additional 700 tonnes of recyclables per year, boosting
its overall residential recycling by 3%. The CIF has provided
a total of $130K funding for the two projects. This includes
$85K infrastructure funding to help develop in-school
capacity and to expand collection services agreements
to accommodate the program. An additional $45K (which
equals 50% of the eligible costs) is being directed to
eligible costs for the mobile education unit.
For more information, contact Wilma Bureau, Contracts
& Collections Supervisor, Simcoe County: Wilma.Bureau@simcoe.ca.
Takes Action to Increase Multi-Residential (MR) Recycling
|11,000 MR households – 27% of total (41,000)
CIF funding - $60,000
The City of Sarnia is one of many municipalities working
to revitalize its multi-residential recycling (MR) program.
Sarnia was approved funding to relaunch its MR program with
new initiatives geared toward increasing recycling rates
in this sector. Sarnia will implement MR best practices
with a program that includes:
- conducting site visits at all MR buildings
- assessing the recycling performance and the challenges to increased recycling at each building
- improving data management of the properties serviced
- increasing the recycling capacity by adding 450 new carts (360 litre carts) to attain the recommended ratio of 50 litres capacity per residential unit
- providing new MR-focused P&E materials for residents and building staff.
At an estimated capture of one tonne
per cart, adding 450 carts into this program has potential
to increase annual tonnage by approximately 400 tonnes.
The new carts were purchased under the CIF cart purchase
agreement which the City of Sarnia was able to ‘piggyback’
on and save time and money. Frank Velle, City of Sarnia
welcomed CIF’s support in this project. “As
basically a one-person operation it’s not enough
simply to get funding for a project; a big challenge
for us is not enough staff resources. Fortunately, the
hands-on involvement of the CIF team in this project
saved me countless hours that I simply would not otherwise
A critical element of the awareness campaign is to
provide new signage at every MR building in the city.
This is also an opportunity to update buildings with
new program information. At 3ft by 4 ft., the signs
are large and colourful. They will be placed in close
proximity to the recycling carts, mounted on walls and
outdoors on posts. The signs have been designed with
program growth in mind, allowing sufficient ‘white
space’ to allow for future program updates by
adding stick-on images as needed.
With these measures in place,
the city also plans to increase enforcement of its waste
management by-law, which prohibits recyclables from
being placed in the garbage. Enforcement measures include
refusing to collect the garbage (that contains the recyclables)
and if necessary, imposing a fine. The Sarnia program
is in progress with the expectation that it will
be fully in place in 2011.
At an estimated capture of one tonne
per cart, adding 450 carts into this program has potential
to increase annual tonnage by approximately 400 tonnes.
For more information please contact Anne Boyd, email@example.com or Frank Velle, Solid Waste Supervisor, City of Sarnia, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Nipissing and North Dundas Project Reports Available Online
The communities of West Nipissing (project #230) and
North Dundas (project #263) are both predominantly rural
communities with curbside collection and MRF facilities.
In each location, at the request of the municipality,
the CIF managed projects to evaluate their programs and
recycling facilities and to provide recommendations for
The resulting reports provide vital information that
will help each program to make decisions about the future
of their collection services and small MRF operations.
The West Nipissing report focuses on
how best to increase capture rates in this community.
Key recommendations include expanding curbside collection
capacity (by providing larger Blue Boxes) and enhanced
P&E as well as negotiating a deal to increase revenue
from container stream processing and exploring long term
cost implications of replacing the MRF with a transfer
The North Dundas program features a
MRF that is nearing the end of its life but is cost-prohibitive
to replace. This report recommends converting the current
MRF to a transfer station that can be used by other programs
in the area. Along with the projects savings from transferring
materials rather than processing them on site, the reports
points to benefits of being able to shift to a 2-stream
or single stream collection from multi-stream collection
(as the current facility can only process materials from
a multi-stream collection). This change in recycling collection
strategy can significantly increase efficiency and reduce
These reports are recommended reading for program designers
in similar communities as they offer important information
and insights for consideration. To find out more: West
Nipissing Report and North
- Fall Ontario Recycler Workshop Delivers
Quality Information and a Valued-Added Workshop Feature
The fall Ontario Recycler Workshop on
November 25 was a success. More than 130 people participated
in person and by webcast for the full day of Blue Box
program and CIF/E&E Fund project updates. This ORW
also featured an hour long interactive session in which
participants brainstormed and prioritized ‘next
steps for continuous improvement’ in a workshop
Thank you to ORW speakers!
Each of the ORW speakers offered insightful
presentations and we are very grateful for their great
contributions to this event. Our speakers included:
MIPC & Durham Region
Blue Box Program Plan–Best Practices &
Performance Funding Update
Efficient Waste Management Systems Inc. Small
Program Depot Upgrades
Transfer Systems for Mid-sized Programs
Region of Peel
MRF Upgrade segment moderator
Bluewater Recycling Association
Lessons Learned: Single Stream
Geoff Love, Love
Update on Blue Box Plastics Projects
Region of Waterloo
Improving Transportation Efficiencies with Technology
John Dixie, StewardEdge
Update on Optical Sorting Installations in Ontario MRFs
Sustainable Financing of Solid Waste Management
Navin Sharma and
Joel McCormick, City of Hamilton
City of Hamilton`s MRF Upgrade
Region of Peel
Front End Recycling Implementing Best Practices
Rick Denyes, Stewardship
Stewardship Ontario Update
Municipal Waste Association
Blue Box Recycling Training Update.
If you were not able to attend, or if there is something
of interest that you would like to revisit or check out,
the presentation slides are on the CIF website. Also the
entire event webcast is also archived on the website,
so you can view the event at your convenience. Click to
Next Steps in Continuous Improvement
The program included an interactive brainstorming session
to invite input on direction to move forward on continuous
improvement in Blue Box practices.
This activity was not limited to the people in the room
as webcast viewers were encouraged to dial in to a conference
line to discuss the topic with online facilitators. Participants
in the room worked in groups that addressed different
Blue Box issues including:
- Admin & Tendering
- Policies & Incentives
- and Marketing.
Participants were encouraged to view a selection of practices
connected with their chosen topic; then they considered
what additional information might be needed to fully address
it; added other ideas and priorities worthy of consideration
and identified additional issues.
Each group reported back on its findings and considerations.
A summary of results are available at the CIF website.
- Spring 2011 ORW: What Topics Are
You Most Interested In?
We will soon begin planning for the spring ORW and are
open to your suggestions about topics to address and where
we should hold it. Please do be sure to let us know your
thoughts and ideas for the next workshop. Contact: email@example.com.