CIF Connections Blog

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 [...]

Two Stream Collection as a Solution to Troublesome Fiber Markets

Photo source: City of Barrie Historically, the ratio of collection to processing costs has wavered between 60:40 to 70:30 of the overall total. Logically, the focus of many decision makers has centered on cost savings that could be realized on the collection side of operations. Single stream proved advantageous for many as it offered the efficiencies of automation, through cart collection, or co-collection of recyclables with the solid waste or organic streams. For Blue Box programs across the province, the international [...]

The Region of York and Its Local Municipalities Complete their Waste System Full Cost Accounting Study (CIF Project #975)

Ask any program manager about their operating budget and they can speak to it with confidence but ask them what portion of the Human Resources or central customer service costs are associated with waste management and it becomes a different discussion. Yet if producers end up hiring municipalities to provide Blue Box services across Ontario, municipalities need to ensure these ‘soft costs’ are covered and understood. Full cost accounting is a process that can be deployed for this purpose. Simply [...]

Next Lowest Hanging Fruit to Improve Diversion?

Clothing, footwear, towels, bedding, and drapes – all are examples of textiles that may end up landfills once residents are through with them. This despite the availability of drop off bins and thrift stores throughout municipalities. Textile waste is steadily increasing due in large part to trendy, low-cost fashion and home finishing items that make it affordable to buy new and refresh what we have frequently. Recent studies suggest textiles comprise up to 10% of the average residential waste [...]

Sault Ste. Marie and GFL Celebrate 5 Successful Years with Split-Body Cart Recycling

Source: saultstemarie.ca Sault Ste. Marie along with its contractor, Green for Life Environmental (GFL) are celebrating 5 years of successful Blue Box recycling with a split-body recycling collection cart. The rollout of this 28,000 cart program in 2013 now provides real-life data on the effectiveness of large-cart recycling collection in Ontario. While large 95-gallon carts have been used for decades in Ontario to collect recyclables from apartment buildings, Sault Ste. Marie and its collection partner GFL were the first to roll [...]

Biobased Plastics and Blue Box Recycling

“Bio-based” or “degradable” plastics were developed as a solution to environmental concerns with conventional plastics: to help reduce litter and pollution and to conserve landfill space. And, they’ve been in circulation in various forms for years. So what are they? “Biobased” vs. “Degradable” vs. “Biodegradable” vs. “Compostable” “Biobased” or plant based plastics include degradable, biodegradable, compostable, bioplastic, bio-based, and oxo-degradable materials. Click to enlarge Biobased and plant-based refer to the raw materials – corn, soybean and wood, that are used as a substitute [...]

Decision-Making Guide: How to Prepare for Transition

The transition to full producer responsibility (FPR) will see the role of municipalities change dramatically. CIF Project 1017, conducted with the Region of Niagara (Niagara), is designed to walk municipalities through the factors municipalities should consider to determine the role they might play once Ontario transitions to FPR. This blog presents considerable detail and there’s more in the report to come. Readers might consider bookmarking this as reference for the future. Processing and marketing Blue Box recyclables is the key area [...]

CIF Pilot Project Confirms Expanded Polystyrene Recycling Possible but Challenging

The CIF recently funded a pilot project to evaluate densification and marketing of curbside collected Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) in the City of Toronto (City). Additional financial support was offered by the Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA). EPS is commonly referred to by the trade name “Styrofoam”. Support for this pilot project (CIF Project #1035) builds on previous CIF efforts to identify and overcome barriers to EPS recycling in Ontario. Prior projects include, but are not limited, to: Densification and Recycling of [...]

Using RFID Waste Collection Data to Find & Target Poor Multi-Residential Performers

Peel’s Regional Council issued a resolution to achieve a diversion target of 75% by 2034. Recognizing Multi-residential (MR) sector recycling rates lag considerably behind curbside rates, Region staff set out to understand the potential and the cost of capturing additional blue box tonnes from residents living in MR homes. What’s involved with installing RFID technology and on-board Scales? Knowing that accurate baseline data is needed to properly assess MR diversion opportunities, the Region integrated RFID technology with on-board weigh scales for [...]