Sault Ste. Marie’s curbside recycling has been a little stagnant during the past couple of years and plans are underway to re-engage households.
Susan Hamilton Beach, director of public works and transportation, said the city has been fairly consistent, or perhaps on a slight downward trend, with the tonnage of recyclables collected with the curbside program over the past two years.
Statistics show that in 2016, 5,026 tonnes of residential recycling was collected.
The city has inked a long-term, 10-year contract with a private contractor that results in a revenue-sharing agreement.
Between the city’s 50-per-cent share of the revenues it receives from the product sales and the funding received from Stewardship Ontario, the recycling program is funded about 61.5 per cent, Hamilton Beach said.
The remaining costs come from revenues charged through gate fees, she said.
Curbside separation with the divided recyclable boxes may also reduce some of the costs of operating the system and help produce a ‘cleaner’ end product for sale, she said.
Recycling pays. It’s less expensive than creating more landfill space, a project that is already well advanced for Sault Ste. Marie.
With the existing landfill estimated to have about 6.9 years left as of early 2016.
For about a decade it had been hoped that diverting 12,500 tonnes of annual household waste to a gas reformation system would save the landfill life, but those options were dashed once Elementa declared bankruptcy last year.
Elementa’s gasification process had been billed as a combustion-free process featuring water-based chemistry and no incineration, making it a radical departure from competing incineration and combustion processes.