CIF Connections Masthead

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.

2010 Priorities

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.

What's Next

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 or 705-719-7913

Up and Coming

  • Look 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 focus on:

  • 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.

  • Plastics Session at the Ontario Recycler Workshop

One of the CIF’s goals for 2011 is to increase recovery of recyclable plastics. Clearly, we’re not alone.

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 Box strategies.

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 to Come

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

  • Multi-municipal 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 cost effective.

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 Sampson.

  • Building 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 on it.”

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:

  1. 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.
  2. Recommendations to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification regarding the sub-category of Collection & Storage of Recyclables for residential buildings.
  3. 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.

  • Simcoe 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 the future.”

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 and education.

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:

  • Sarnia Takes Action to Increase Multi-Residential (MR) Recycling
11,000 MR households – 27% of total (41,000)

165 buildings

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 have.”

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, or Frank Velle, Solid Waste Supervisor, City of Sarnia,

Reporting Out

  • West 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 decision-making.

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 station approach.

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 program costs.

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 Dundas Report.

Event Update

  • 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 activity.

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:

  • Craig Bartlett, MIPC & Durham Region
    Blue Box Program Plan–Best Practices & Performance Funding Update
  • Derrick Tuyl, Efficient Waste Management Systems Inc. Small Program Depot Upgrades
  • Doug Vanderlinden, Nexgen-Recycling
    Transfer Systems for Mid-sized Programs
  • Erwin Pascual, Region of Peel
    MRF Upgrade segment moderator
  • Francis Veilleux, Bluewater Recycling Association
    Lessons Learned: Single Stream
  • Geoff Love, Love Environment
    Update on Blue Box Plastics Projects
  • Jerry Biersteker, Region of Waterloo
    Improving Transportation Efficiencies with Technology
  • John Dixie, StewardEdge Inc.
    Update on Optical Sorting Installations in Ontario MRFs
  • Maria Kelleher, Kelleher Environmental
    Sustainable Financing of Solid Waste Management Systems
  • Navin Sharma and Joel McCormick, City of Hamilton
    City of Hamilton`s MRF Upgrade
  • Peter Kalogerakos, Region of Peel
    Front End Recycling Implementing Best Practices
  • Rick Denyes, Stewardship Ontario
    Stewardship Ontario Update
  • Vivian DeGiovanni, 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 view ORW materials.

Next Steps in Continuous Improvement Activity

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:

  • Collection
  • Admin & Tendering
  • Policies & Incentives
  • Processing
  • 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:

In This Issue

New REOI: Early January

Plastics Session at November ORW

Multi-Municipal Waste Planning Pays off for 30 Recycling Municipalities

Building Code Review Focuses on Increased Multi-residential Recycling

Simcoe County Puts a New Spin on Recycling

Sarnia Takes Action on MR Recycling

West Nipissing and North Dundas Project Reports Available Online

Event Update

For more information or to provide comments on any item included in "CIF Connections!" please contact: Andy Campbell, Program Director by phone at 705-719-7913 or by email:


The CIF will fund 50% of MR container - carts or front end bins Preparing MR carts for collection