I’m sure that most of you have heard that Cumberland County is making the switch to dual stream recycling. Some may welcome the change and others may wonder why.
There are really a couple of reasons the change was necessary. These were market conditions and the fact that we are the only facility in Nova Scotia that isn’t already doing this.
If we look back eight months to when our facility was destroyed in a fire, I can remember we were left scrambling to find a facility that would take our recyclables.
It quickly became clear to us that no one was eager to take them as we were still placing all recyclables in one bag while the rest of the province was sorting in a dual stream manner. As staff worked to secure a location for our recyclables, the bags were still coming in and our pile of materials quickly became large.
After a month of stockpiling, we were fortunate to find a private facility in Kentville that agreed to take our single stream recyclables. So after the fire it became very clear that being the only facility to sort this way limited our options.
To add to the problem, we became aware that market conditions would soon dictate that we make the switch to dual stream regardless of the fire. The processors of recyclables are demanding a cleaner product and the only way to achieve that is with dual stream recycling. When we keep our paper products separate from our recyclable containers, it increases the quality of the materials being sold by reducing contamination.
So, what exactly is Dual Stream Recycling? This is where we ask residents and businesses to place all paper products in one bag (Bag #1) and all containers in another bag (Bag #2). Paper products include newspapers, cereal boxes, cardboard, office paper, etc. Containers include milk cartons, glass jars, and plastic containers to name a few.
The simple way to look at it is that you just need to keep all your paper products in a different bag than your containers. And don’t fret if this is the first time you’re hearing about the switch, residents and businesses will be given a six-month grace period before the switch becomes mandatory (although we encourage everyone to start sooner rather than later).
The program is being phased in. Phase 1, the voluntary phase starts June 1 with Phase 2, the mandatory phase taking effect Dec. 1.
It’s true you will need to use another bag to sort but remember you still have the same amount of recyclables so your bags should take longer to fill. If you’re worried that there may be changes to how you sort your garbage and organics, worry no more! Our garbage and organics programs are not changing!
Still have questions? Come to one of our eight information sessions being held throughout Cumberland County. The dates and locations can be found on our website at cjsma.ns.ca.
Not sure where something goes? Try our online sorting tool, visit www.cjsma.ns.ca or call us at 902-667-5141. Also “like” us on facebook at “Cumberland Central Landfill”.
Thank you for helping keep Cumberland Clean.
Brenda Rioux is the waste reduction co-ordinator for the Cumberland Joint Services Management Authority.