City will expand pilot project for recycling in parks this year

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During the spring of 2019, containers were placed close to the garbage bins and different container lids were introduced to see if lid size and colour affected the amount of recycling that was “captured” and contamination rates.

The best lids had restrictive openings, but they were also easier to clog, which gave the impression that bins were overflowing. The large recycling carts did not need to be emptied as often, which was more efficient, and there was less contamination.

In the most recent pilot, recycling streams were expanded to include organics and dog waste. Large wheeled collection carts were installed in 10 parks for garbage, blue box recycling and organics.

In 10 parks between the fall of 2019 and summer 2020, 72 per cent of waste that would have otherwise been sent to landfill was diverted to recycling and organics bins, and 75 per cent of what could be recycled was placed in recycling bins, while 79 per cent of organic material was placed correctly in green bins, Wylie wrote.

This spring, the city wants to expand the pilot, which would run until the spring of 2022, to about 20 parks of different sizes and locations. The project already includes Mooney’s Bay Park, a destination park.

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In the expanded pilot, three-stream waste receptacles will be installed at various locations throughout each participating park with an emphasis on entry and exit points and gathering spots.

Staff will report back, and their findings from all the pilot projects will help develop a future city-wide recycling program in parks.

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