October 16, 2007

York Region is seeing green; Diversion rate hits 65 per cent

Two-week period in September sees whopping diversion increase of 24.7 per cent

NEWMARKET – York Region residents took the Green Bin and Blue Box programs by storm last month, diverting 65 per cent of our total waste from landfill during the final two weeks of September.  Thanks to the Region-wide introduction of the Green Bin program this fall, it’s clear that York Region residents are on board and excited to get green.

“Full implementation of the organics program is creating an incredible surge of interest and support with residents across our Region,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “Not since the introduction of the Blue Box have communities been so excited about playing an important part in waste reduction and environmental protection.  Our efforts are really paying off.”

From September 16th to 30th, the average diversion rate of the Region’s nine municipalities increased by 24.7 per cent compared with averages for the first eight months of 2007.  The spike in diversion is attributed to the launch of the Green Bin program in the northern six municipalities this fall, joining the Town of Markham and Richmond Hill and the City of Vaughan in organic collection.

Municipality

September 16th to 30th Diversion Rate

Aurora

68%

East Gwillimbury

67%

Georgina

70%

King

60%

Markham

63%

Newmarket

78%

Richmond Hill

62%

Vaughan

65%

Whitchurch-Stouffville

65%

York Region Weighted Average

65%

To keep the momentum rolling, residents are reminded to review accepted items for both Green Bin and Blue Box collection.  Less contamination within these diversion streams will improve our ongoing diversion rates.

“It’s exciting to see the Green Bin program already demonstrating its true potential,” said City of Vaughan Regional Councillor Mario Ferri, Chair of the Region’s Solid Waste Committee.  “Combined with other diversion initiatives, York Region is setting a benchmark for sustainable waste management.”

The Green Bin program is a primary initiative in the Region’s waste diversion strategy, recognizing York Regional Council’s commitment to divert 65 per cent of all waste from landfill by 2010.

Current diversion rates are based on curb-side collection prior to removal of improperly sorted waste, and the plastic bags used within the Green Bin.  York Region’s 2006 waste diversion rate was 40 per cent, up from 25 per cent in 2004.  York Region should exceed a 50-per cent diversion rate by the end of this year.

In addition to successful Green Bin and Blue Box programs, York Region has several other Solid Waste Management priorities outlined for the next three years, including stopping the export of landfill to Michigan in 2008, increasing blue box capacity, opening new community environmental centres and further efforts with the York-Durham Residual Waste Environmental Study and Dongara pelletization projects.

Please see Fact Sheet #1 for diversion rate information, or Fact Sheet #2 for Green Bin/Blue Box reminders.

For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit www.york.ca

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Media Contact:         Kim Sinclair, Communications Specialist, York Region
                               Phone:  905 830-4444, ext. 1209 or Cell: 905 251-6412
                               Email: kim.sinclair@york.ca

 
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