December 10, 2009
Media Release

York Region diversion ranks No. 1 among Large Urban Municipalities

Waste Diversion Ontario report names York Region as diversion leader two years in a row
NEWMARKET …quot; The Regional Municipality of York 2008 waste diversion rate of 53 per cent has been ranked No. 1 in Waste Diversion Ontario’s (WDO) Large Urban Municipalities category for the second year in a row. 
Additionally, York Region’s 2008 diversion ranked No. 2 overall in Ontario from a total of 215 municipalities, an increase from 17th place in 2007 and a further increase from 50th in 2006.
“Ranking first in the WDO’s Large Urban Municipalities category two years in a row is an outstanding accomplishment,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “York Region’s leadership in diversion is a result of the continued commitment of both York Region residents and York Regional Council. This record of success solidifies York Region’s position as a true environmental leader.”
The 53 per cent diversion rate marks a significant increase from both the 2007 diversion rate of 45.7 per cent and the 2006 diversion rate of 40 per cent.  York Region diverted 182,547 tonnes of waste from landfill last year through the success of our award-winning diversion initiatives including the Green Bin and Blue Box programs.
In 2008 the Region’s Green Bin program produced the highest rates of household participation throughout the Greater Toronto Area.  This success rate indicates that the Region’s Green Bin program is maturing into a common household practice.  Similarly, in 2008 the Region was able to ride out the negative economic impacts on recycling Blue Box commodities, without sacrificing overall diversion.
WDO diversion rates represent the amount of waste diverted after the removal of unacceptable residue.  Large Urban Municipalities, as categorized by WDO, account for more than 48 per cent of Ontario’s total population.
“York Region residents are to be commended once again for enthusiastically taking part in our waste diversion programs and helping York Region achieve these WDO rankings,” said City of Vaughan Regional Councillor Mario Ferri, Chair of the Region’s Environmental Services Committee.  “I encourage residents to continue to support our initiatives as the Region implements new waste diversion programs in 2010.”
In 2009, York Region moved forward with a number of diversion initiatives, including:
• Celebrating the official opening of the Vaughan Community Environmental Centre
• Planning for a second Community Environmental Centre location in Richmond Hill
• Exploring expanded Blue Box options and planned upgrades to waste management facility equipment
• Supported new “Extended Producer Responsibility” programs to increase recovery of waste electronics, household hazardous waste and used tires
• Planning for a proposed energy-from-waste facility with Durham Region
• Commencing a long-term Integrated Waste Management Plan
In 2010, York Region will:
• Improve Green Bin diversion through promoting use of compostable bag liners instead of plastic
• Upgrade the Material Recovery Facility to improve Blue Box processing capacity and material recovery
• Proceed with development of the Richmond Hill Community Environmental Centre
• Upgrade the Georgina Transfer Station to include Community Environmental Centre design features
• Subject to Provincial approvals, begin design and construction of the Durham/York Energy from Waste facility in Clarington
• Continue working with Dongara to improve their processing capacity so as to achieve greater diversion from landfill            

York Region is well positioned to achieve its WDO diversion target of 60 per cent for 2010. With the addition of energy recovery diversion methods such as Dongara, York Region will divert even more waste from landfill in 2010.
For more information on The Regional Municipality of York, please visit
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Media Contact: Michelle Dudzik, Communications Specialist, York Region
                      Phone:  905 830-4444, ext. 1209 or Cell: 905 716-0994

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