CIF Connections Blog

The Robots are here!

Robotic arm positively sorting HDPE (Source: Machinex Recycling Services Inc.) What is the Machinex SamurAI you ask? Well it’s all in the name. The capitalization of ‘AI’ at the end of the word SamurAI refers to the use of artificial intelligence technology in this sorting equipment. Reference to the Japanese warrior title signifies that the self-aware sorting robot is focussed, fast and precise. It was built to reduce dependence on manual sorting as it is designed to perform up to [...]

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Assessing Domestic Capacity to Consume Fibres from Ontario Blue Box Program

Background A few years ago, if you asked any North American Material Recycling Facility (MRF) where their recovered curbside newsprint was going, chances are they would tell you that some or all of it was being exported to China. During the past eighteen months, the Chinese government introduced the National Sword and Blue Sky regulations to curtail the amount of contamination from imports of recyclable materials being brought into the country. These restrictions resulted in North American municipalities and MRF processors [...]

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Contract Clauses to Prepare Municipalities for Transition

In light of the uncertainty surrounding the pending transition to full produce responsibility, municipalities that are contracting for recycling services now, need to provide for the possibility that a change of law may significantly affect their program and/or the scope of work. Including transition clauses in new or updated contracts will help manage this uncertainty. You can prevent or mitigate serious contractual impacts resulting from the new legislation with Change of Law, Force Majeure, Change Management, Assignment, Early Termination and [...]

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Recycling in the Multi-Residential (MR) sector: three opportunities to improve performance

Multi Residential (MR) recycling performance lags behind curbside for two, nearly universal reasons: a smaller quantity of material is captured, and its quality is compromised by high levels of unwanted items such as food waste and textiles. When faced with challenging and complicated problems such as these, behaviour change researchers Dan and Chip Heath advise that we should focus energy on finding and studying the bright spots (successes) of any activity despite how small or incremental. They argue that focusing [...]

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2019 REOI Details for Your Application

View the 2019 REOI The CIF Request for Expressions of Interest (REOI) is now open, with a total of $2.09 million to invest in new initiatives.  This year’s REOI represents a shift in focus for project funding based on the feedback received from Blue Box stakeholders through the CIF Strategic Plan consultation process. For a complete discussion of this year’s funding priorities please review: Sections 3 of the 2019 REOI; 2019 CIF Operations Plan; and Draft CIF Strategic Plan. Projects that provide Broad Reaching Collective [...]

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Performance impacts: Changing to two stream collection

CIF’s February 1 blog revealed how the Township of Drummond/North Elmsley (DNE) addressed international fiber market issues by transitioning its Blue Box program from weekly single stream to two stream, alternating week collection. This week’s blog answers your follow up questions about: How has this change affected participation? What is the impact of going to two-stream on cross contamination? Were capture and diversion affected? DNE staff are working through steps in their CIF project’s measuring and monitoring plan and, just this week, received the [...]

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Commitments for Government Procurement Under International Trade Agreements: Find out More!

When CIF staff receive questions that are new to us, we’re happy to investigate, and where necessary, obtain expert advice. This week’s blog was prepared by Paula Lombardi, LLB of the law firm, Siskinds LLP, to address procurement obligations that may affect Ontario recycling programs. Responding to an enquiry about what are some of the outside influences that Blue Box programs need to be aware of when making procurement decisions, Ms Lombardi prepared the following response. Canada is a party to [...]

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A Multi-Municipal Initiative: RFP and P&E Development

The Renfrew County Multi-Municipality Waste Group (“Group”) through CIF project 956 obtained technical RFP support, and financial assistance to develop promotion and education (P&E) materials. The Group aimed to develop a joint waste management procurement document between to standardize recycling and waste management contracts and improve access to recycling program for multi-residential buildings. The Group is made up of Town of Arnprior, Town of Renfrew, Township of Horton, and Township of McNab/Braeside, and are located in the Ottawa Valley, northwest [...]

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The CIF Price Sheet…how does it stack up to other Indices?

Commodity markets tend to be volatile in nature, given the various factors that can affect demand and pricing (e.g., exchange rates, local policy, global policy, consumer pressures). This reality is no different for post-consumer (recyclable) commodities. Historically, China was the largest importer of post-consumer commodities, and for years it accepted materials that were often heavily contaminated. However, this came to an abrupt end when China implemented its National Sword Policy in 2017. It resulted in MRFs worldwide scrambling to [...]

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Making Investments in Uncertain Times: ‘How-to’ Advice from Waterloo Region

With news that transition to Full Producer Responsibility was expected to take hold in Ontario, but without a target date, Waterloo Region staff took a close look at the needs of its Material Recovery Centre (MRC). Since 2012, the Region had moved from 4-stream to 2-stream collection – where glass was commingled with other containers and brought into the MRC to be sorted. This bump in glass now coming into the facility was the first in a series of growing [...]

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