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Waste Composition Study Results Available Now: Essential Reading for Blue Box Program Staff

How much & what’s the mix? (photo source: AET Group) Want to Measure Your Program’s Performance? Use the New Waste Audit Data to Find Out Where it Fits Program operators need to have reliable data to measure performance and plan for the future – but gathering this information is time-consuming and expensive. To remove the burden from individual programs, the CIF and Stewardship Ontario conduct and share results of waste composition studies in municipalities throughout the province ( This data delivered [...]

Marketing Blue Box Commodities Matters: What Strategies Do Ontario Programs Use?

We often discuss how to collect or sort blue box recyclables but if they aren’t marketed effectively, your program’s finances may suffer. But how do you know? Here’s what an expert had to say. Recyclable Materials Marketing (ReMM) surveyed 14 Ontario municipalities that represent 77% of Ontario’s population to identify the most common marketing approaches and the pros and cons of each. Here’s a summary. MRF contractor markets all material (with or without revenue share): used by 8 programs surveyed [...]

Use your digital media to get your message out: Peel did!

High contamination rates got you stumped? Peel Region transitioned from curbside Blue Box service to an automated cart based collection system in January 2016. Cart based service offers residents more storage capacity so they can set out more recyclables. The good news is that the amount of recycling set out by residents has increased; the bad news is so has the amount of unwanted, untargeted items. Prior to implementing cart-based collection, recycling contamination was over 10 percent and now, with curbside [...]

Pros and Cons of Outbound and Inbound Blue Box Processing Compensation Models

Outbound vs Inbound Processing Compensation Models The question of how to compensate a MRF service provider is one that we brought up in a blog a month ago. In these times of tightening market requirements, municipalities and service providers are rethinking compensation models. Payment against inbound vs outbound tonnage can both work but there are key items that need to be considered, which include the quality and composition of the inbound material and the term of the contract. Compensation based on [...]

Hosting a Zero Waste Dinner for 100,000

Special guest blog contributed by Barry Friesen, General Manager of CleanfarmsInc. and an Etobicoke Rotarian Imagine hosting a dinner party for 100,000 people.  Where do you seat them? Where do they park? Where do you find enough food to feed them?  And the overflow of packaging and compostables in your green and blue bins would fill a house. Volunteer staff sorting waste at the recycling station That’s what the Etobicoke Rotary has done for 18 years with its Toronto Ribfest held in [...]

How much does it cost to produce a higher paper grade?

The CIF can help you answer that question and more like it! The Activity Based Costing (ABC) Model developed by the CIF for municipal Material Recovery Facilities (MRF) owners and/or operators is a tool that can be used to gain a thorough understanding of the current costs associated with the management of your Blue Box materials. Once populated, the model can be used to quantify the impact of any changes you may be contemplating to the bottom line and operating efficiencies. [...]

CIF Completes MRF Equipment Valuation in Northumberland County

CIF in cooperation with Northumberland County (County) has completed a present-day valuation of MRF equipment at the County’s facility in Grafton Ontario. The County constructed the 55,000 square foot facility in 1996 and has owned and operated the MRF since that time. Municipal staff manage the facility and provide all required labour. Waste management services are a single-tier function in the County and the curbside collection program includes 38,000 stops. The County currently processes approximately 16,500 tonnes per year including [...]

Front End Loading Systems Again Demonstrate Cost Efficient Collection

The municipality of Hastings Highlands covers nearly 1,000 scenic square kilometres and neighbours the iconic landscapes of Algonquin Park in central Ontario. Like many rural operators, a large component of its Blue Box program costs relate to hauling materials from depot collection sites to distant recovery facilities that often lie more than 100 kilometres away. A 40 yd3 split roll-off container at the East Lake depot location Up until recently, the municipality collected recycling in the type of roll-off bins seen [...]

Keep Calm It’s RFP Season!

Asking the Right Questions During RFP Planning It’s RFP season! Well in reality, every season is RFP season! RFPs are a top priority for programs this year as it was clearly indicated by the volume of inquiries and the number of 2018 REOI applications requesting RFP support in one form or another. So, if you’re thinking about or have been voluntold to prepare an RFP and are not sure what to include (or exclude) then this blog is for you. It’s important [...]

CIF Explores Curbside Contamination Reduction in Barrie

CIF in cooperation with the City of Barrie and its contractor, Waste Connections, recently funded a quantitative study to determine whether additional sorting effort at the curbside could significantly reduce the amount of ‘unsolicited’ material delivered to a MRF. Photo source: City of Barrie Curbside contamination consists of unsolicited materials (e. g., a running shoe in the Blue Box) and solicited materials that are too contaminated to process (e. g., newspaper soaked in motor oil). Contamination in single-stream and two-stream collection [...]