City to further trim its waste

New city-wide composting system aims to divert 65 per cent of its waste from landfills by 2012

Derek Ochej, public education and promotion co-ordinator for the City of Kingston, says the city has distributed approximately 37,000 Green Bins to residents.
Derek Ochej, public education and promotion co-ordinator for the City of Kingston, says the city has distributed approximately 37,000 Green Bins to residents.

Starting in September, the Ghetto will get an organic makeover with the introduction of a new composting system.

Over the past four weeks, the City of Kingston has distributed approximately 37,000 Green Bins to homeowners across the city. The Green Bins, similar in size and appearance to a standard garbage bin, are intended for the collection of organic waste.

The bins are being distributed along with a Kitchen Container for collecting organic waste inside the home and a Green Bin Guide outlining the proper use and care of the bins. As well, homeowners will receive the Trim Your Waste Guide explaining the proper disposal of all types of waste. Derek Ochej, public education and promotion co-ordinator for the City of Kingston said the bins are being introduced in an effort to reduce the amount of waste ending up in landfills.

“The program’s just been brought in to increase waste diversion,” he said. “With the Green Bins we’re hoping to reach a goal of 65 per cent diversion by 2012.”

Besides food waste such as fruit and vegetable peelings, bread, meat bones and dairy products, Ochej said the bins can also be used for various other organic materials.

“We’d also accept a category called soiled paper products, so those are things like used paper towels, facial tissue, greasy pizza boxes, and we can accept small amounts of yard waste so weeds, grass clippings, leaves,” he said. “And then there’s of course the ‘other items’ category, which includes things like dryer lint, hair and the ever-popular toenail clippings.” Ochej said the bins will not be distributed to large multi-family dwellings such as apartment buildings.

“Green bins are being distributed to homes with six units or less, so for instance if you had a duplex or a triplex, you would then receive two or three bins, one for each unit,” he said.

Ochej said apartments are logistically different from a curbside house, but said the City plans to investigate expanding the program to multi-residential buildings. Businesses, schools and restaurants are not included in the Green Bin program for 2010 either.

“If you have 50 units, you couldn’t have a bin for each unit to be collected, they’d need a completely separate system,” he said. “What we’re trying to do first is get it down pat and have the program running really well in single-family homes, and then once that’s running along smoothly we’ll then move into apartment buildings at some point in the future.”

Ochej said Ghetto residents will receive a separate distribution at a later date. “We were speaking with the AMS, specifically [Municipal Affairs Commissioner] Paul Tye, and there is an area that won’t be receiving bins until mid-September just after orientation week,” he said. “The area consists of all houses fronting onto Johnson, William, Earl and Clergy from Barrie to Alfred and then all houses fronting onto Barrie, Division, Aberdeen, University and Alfred, from Clergy to Johnson.”

Ochej said the September distribution will consist of approximately 477 bins.

“The major concern on that was the potential for bins to be lost in the shuffle of students moving, and new owners and things like that, so that’s the reason we granted the AMS request that we delay the distribution.”

Those who live in that area and will be in Kingston for the summer may request their bins early, Ochej said.

“We are making exceptions for students who live there in the summer or residents who live there year round,” he said. “We’ve had probably a dozen requests so far from that area. They can call the city number at 613-546-0000 and request a bin, and then we’ll have one dropped off.” Collection of the bins begins the week of Apr. 6 when residents are asked to start putting out their Green Bins on their regular garbage pick-up day.

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