May 21, 2009

"Make the Drop" public space recycling/composting pilot program provides more ways to divert waste while on the go


Expanded 2009 education and promotion campaign planned for 2009


NEWMARKET – York Regional Council today approved an expanded “Make the Drop” 2009 public space recycling and composting pilot program for the Towns of Newmarket and Markham to encourage residents to divert more waste while on the go.  A promotion and education campaign will encourage residents to separate their recyclables and compostable organics at Tom Taylor Trail and Ray Twinney Arena in Newmarket and at up to three indoor public locations to be determined in Markham.


“Increased availability of recycling and composting containers in public places will allow York Region residents to divert even more waste from landfill,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Bill Fisch.  “I thank our residents and local municipal partners for embracing this new opportunity and look forward to great results.”


The expanded pilot program follows an initial three-month pilot in the Town of Newmarket in 2008 and will be introduced to boost participation and reduce contamination (misplaced items not accepted in the Blue Box or Green Bin program).  More than five tonnes of recyclable materials and organics were collected during the 2008 pilot program; however contamination posed a problem in both areas, averaging 23 per cent in the recycling and 11 per cent in the organics stream. 


New communication activities planned for 2009 include outreach to park users as well as the introduction of a travelling event station accompanied by waste management staff.  Additional signs will also be developed for both Newmarket and Markham locations.


Over 105 three-stream (waste, recycling and compost) containers were installed in the Town of Newmarket at Ray Twinney Recreation Complex and along Tom Taylor Trail for the initial 2008 pilot program.  Additional containers are planned for installation in Markham as part of the 2009 expanded program.


“We are committed to achieving 65 per cent diversion of waste from landfill by the end of 2010,” said City of Vaughan Regional Councillor Mario Ferri, Chair of the Region’s Solid Waste Committee.  “Studies show that more than 60 per cent of public space waste is recyclable or compostable, representing a significant waste diversion opportunity that can help bring us closer to achieving our goals.”


Budgeted costs for the 2009 expanded pilot program are $197,300.  Staff will report back on the results of the 2009 program in early 2010 and recommend next steps for the program.


In 2008, approximately 175,000 tonnes of recyclable and compostable materials were diverted from landfill through York Region diversion programs in partnership with local municipalities.


For more information on the Make the Drop program, please visit


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Media Contact:         Kim MacGillivray, Corporate Communications, York Region

                                 Phone:  905 830-4444 Ext. 1209 / Cell: 905 251-6412

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