Western Ontario Tests Mobile Depots for Hazardous or Special Waste
The Recycling Challenge
Making Recycling Drop-Off Locations More Accessible to all Ontarians
Until recently, the options for recycling paints, coatings and solvents for Southgate’s population of just over 7,000 were limited to eight special collection days during summer months in Owen Sound (a round trip of two and a half hours). There was also a restricted collection of oil, batteries, antifreeze and propane tanks at two local depots. This meant that anyone but the most dedicated recycler was inevitably hoarding, or disposing of their paints incorrectly, and potentially unsafely, risking contamination of landfill and waterways.
Dave Milliner, Southgate’s Chief Administrative Officer explains, “There were maybe 25 or 30 people who travelled to Owen Sound for those collection days. But, with the price of gas, that’s a lot to ask. Plus, there are carbon consequences to making that journey.” That’s why Southgate Councillor, Glen Irwin, and Dave asked Stewardship Ontario to help them bring a giant, mobile orange depot to the township.
The Sustainable Solution
Industry Stewards Fund Mobile Orange Drop Depot Testing
The big orange box is an innovative alternative to one-day collection events for communities without convenient depot locations. Open year round, the unmistakeable 24 x 8 orange container moves every three months between two different sites, giving people throughout the community easy access, and a safe way to dispose of their special household waste. When it’s time to switch locations, a truck simply loads the mobile container and hauls it to the other side of the township. As Dave points out, “Now, nobody in the community is more than 20 minutes away from a drop-off location. The mobile depot has been working really, really well for us, and the first container was brim full in less than three months.”
Household Hazardous Waste Collection Grows in Southgate
Thanks to the mobile Orange Drop depot and increased awareness, Southgate collection grew by 97 per cent, from 4.4 tonnes in 2010 to 8.7 tonnes in 2011—without eroding Owen Sound’s collection, which increased 11 per cent in 2011. With set-up capital provided by industry stewards, the township has run the program to the delight of municipal staff and local residents, and Stewardship Ontario is now planning to roll out more mobile depots in other Ontario communities.
The Big Orange Box Collaborators
Stewardship Ontario‘s Orange Drop—Stewardship Ontario is a not-for-profit organization funded and governed by the industries that make and market the products and packaging materials recycled through the programs it manages–the Blue Box and Orange Drop.
Township of Southgate—Located in western Ontario, in the southeast corner of Grey County, Southgate was formed on January 1, 2000, when the village of Dundalk and the townships of Proton and Egremont were amalgamated. With a population of 7,190, Southgate’s focus is primarily agricultural.
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