Clear bags have made a difference
LITTLE FORKS – The good news is there’s been progress on decreasing landfill waste. The bad news is there’s a deadline on the horizon and we’re a ways from meeting provincial waste reduction goals.
“We have a tough challenge ahead of us,” said Stephen Rayworth, solid waste manager at CJSMA, the landfill and recycling site off Highway 2 that services five local municipalities.
Clear bags have made an impact.
“We have numbers,” said Rayworth.
The clear bag requirement was instituted a year ago this past January for the county. For Amherst, the one-year mark is May 1. Across the five municipalities, there’s been a 20 per cent reduction in garbage, a 45 per cent increase in compostables and a nine per cent increase in recyclables, said the manager.
Twenty percent garbage reduction is at the low end of a 20 to 30 per cent average in jurisdictions across the province (although some municipalities have yet to bring in clear bags).
“The clear bag program is one step,” he said.
The 2015 goal, mandated by the province, is to get landfill waste down to an average of 300 kilograms per person. Cumberland is well above the current average of 394 kg.
“We’re somewhere around 500,” said Rayworth.
The manager said the next step towards the goal hasn’t been determined. The CJSMA is looking for direction from the province.