Mandatory Recycling Program Discussed

( file photo by Shaun Garrity)

The Essex Windsor Solid Waste Authority isn’t prepared to make recycling mandatory just yet.

Some communities in Ontario are forced to limit trash at the curb, use clear garbage bags, or have a user pay system.

Cameron Wright, waste diversion manager, says there needs to be political will to move in that direction. “Residents still have the opportunity to get on board, get our 75% participation up to 85-90%, which is the participation levels they have in some of the areas where there are all these disincentives,” Wright says. “If we can get more people recycling, get more out of each household, we won’t have to move in that direction.”

Wright says if you’re going to recycle, try and do it correctly. “That probably hurts that program more than it helps it. We’re getting a lot more stuff that isn’t recyclable and it seems to be that people are taking a look at something and saying ‘we’ll throw it in, they’ll make the decision whether it can be recycled or not,'” he says. “In essence, that really has a harmful effect on our particular program.”

The region’s waste diversion rate is up slightly to 37% last year from 36% in 2013, mainly because of an increase in yard waste collection.