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Garbage recycling program to involve 27,000 households.

Garbage recycling program to involve 27,000 households

In September Sault Ste. Marie will join more than 200 municipalities in Ontario which recycle garbage.

It will be the second municipality in Northern Ontario to recycle. Dryden began a program in December 1988 and the program's success can be measured by the recent inclusion of 25 surrounding townships.

The delivery of blue boxes to some 27,000 households in the Sault will launch a high-profile publicity campaign. Close to two million blue boxes have been distributed throughout the province. Should the Sault be the recipient of that two-millionth box, the launching will be particularly significant.

Tim Garside, the city's recycling co-ordinator, took over his duties in October 1989. A Sault native, he graduated from Sault College's water resources engineering technology program in 1984. After doing contract work for the Ministry of Natural Resources, he joined the Ministry of Environment and was based in Timmins and in southern Ontario from 1986 until he assumed his present position.

Initially, recyclable material will consist of five materials - newsprint, steel (tin) cans, aluminum beverage containers, glass and polyethylene terephthalate plastic (PET) which is used to make two-litre plastic soft drink containers.

Newsprint will be forwarded to the Quebec and Ontario Paper Company of Thorold, Ont., the only facility in the province capable of recycling the material. Although this plant has been running at capacity for the past year and is brokering paper oversees at this point, there is good news for the future. Canadian Pacific Forest Products, with mills in Thunder Bay and Gatineau, Que., has announced plans to construct deinking facilities which should be operating by next year. These will be major operations which will probably outstrip the supply and it is conceivable that newsprint will be imported from such places as New York and Michigan to supply these plants.

Algoma Steel Corporation of the Sault has already consented to take all the tin or steel cans and recycle them locally. As for the aluminum, it probably will be recycled by one of the major processors such as Alcan in Quebec or New York.

Glass products will go to Consumer's Glass of Toronto and plastic bottles will be recycled in Toronto.

Immediately upon assuming his position, Garside began a comprehensive educational program aimed at reaching every resident of the city.

"One of the ways I felt I could best get my message across was to go into the school system," he explains.

The two school boards co-operated in allowing him to make presentations to Grades 5,6 and 7 in some 45 elementary schools.

"The single most important thing I've done is target children and I'm getting feedback constantly from parents whose children have heard the message and are calling me for more information."

Capital costs for the blue box recycling program are funded by Ontario Multi-Material Recycling Inc., the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines.

Although the capital funding is in place for the purchase of three collection vehicles, bins, fork lifts and other equipment, the city must consider future operating costs.

After the program starts, the Ministry of Environment has a five-year commitment to provide operating funding at 50 per cent for the first year to 10 per cent the fifth year.

By the sixth year, the city will pay the full operating costs. However, there will be savings too.

Some existing recycling programs boast up to a 10-per-cent reduction of waste. Recycling the traditional materials as planned by the Sault will probably generate a four to five-per-cent reduction.

The actual amount of savings changes constantly with the addition of apartment buildings and industry to the program.


Garside believes that with a 20-year period of recycling just the basics, and without expanding the variety of materials, two years of landfill could be saved.

Sault Ste. Marie is fortunate, considering that the landfill site should serve the city's needs for 20 more years. Some Ontario communities, however, are in a crisis position having run out of landfill space or approaching the prospect. Three communities in the province are under a mandatory bylaw to recycle.

The blue box program in the Sault will be voluntary. Each household will separate its waste materials and place them in a curbside blue box. Collection vehicles will operate on the same days as garbage is picked up and workers will place the materials in four different compartments in the vehicle. Materials will then be delivered to a processing centre where contaminants will be screened out.

It is important that acceptable materials be deposited in the blue boxes since damaging material can cause more problems than if recycling didn't take place at all.

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Title Annotation:Focus on Sault Ste. Marie
Author:Woroshelo, Theresa
Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:May 1, 1990
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