CIF Connections Blog

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

Source: 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 [...]

2018 CIF REOI Update: 41 Applications Received!

This was the ninth year the REOI was released to encourage municipalities to undertake new effectiveness and efficiency projects. To date, the CIF has invested over $58.5 million in initiatives that have had a direct and positive impact on the Blue Box program. CIF received a strong response again this year with more than 40 applications requesting $7.4 million in funding to support $36 million of investment. As it stands, the REOI budget is oversubscribed by more than $3.8M. The [...]

Development of an Alternative Glass Market: Bio-Soil from Recycled Glass

The marketplace for municipal grade mixed broken glass is relatively thin and, at the same time, quality specifications from end markets are becoming tighter, requiring added attention by MRF operators. Testing a Potential New End Market for Recovered Glass Niagara Region is seeking to create a secondary market for recycled glass in the event its current market (sandblast) slows down. CIF Project 1026 is an innovative approach to development of an economically-effective way to replace up to 85% of the sand [...]

It’s not one or the other…experience shows P&E & operational re-enforcements must go hand in hand

Promotion & Education (P&E) is the messaging to residents that builds awareness of the Blue Box program, motivates them to participate, and instructs them on how to do it properly. P&E messaging can be conveyed through a broad range of multi-media tactics and channels – newspapers, billboards, posters, flyers, calendars, guides, TV, radio, social media, apps, etc. Operational re-enforcement refers to the use of personnel, equipment, by-law or program design feature (e.g. scheduling) to bolster messaging and ensure residents have [...]

CIF Looks at the Pros and Cons of Black Plastic in Residential Recycling

Have we become diametrically opposed to Henry Ford’s “you can have any colour as long as it’s black” proclamation?  When it comes to recycling household plastics packaging the answer is a resounding “maybe”. Black plastics, or plastics that are black, have been making headlines in Ontario recently. Major municipalities have moved to eliminate black plastics from curbside collection programs citing processing issues and lack of markets as the driving forces. Other communities continue to accept black plastics at curbside. The [...]

Collection Policy Insights on New CIF Centre of Excellence Webpages

Many Ontario Blue Box recycling programs have implemented policies aimed at improving material quality and participation levels. “Bag Limit,” “Pay as You Throw” and “Clear Bag” policies are the three most frequently used, either alone or in combination. We know these policies yield all kinds of benefits, from reducing health and safety issues to increasing resident awareness of program options and, of course, increasing capture of cleaner materials. But if your program is considering implementing a new curbside collection policy, [...]