(Saint John, N.B.) The City of Saint John Solid Waste Collection Service is teaming up with the Fundy Region Solid Waste Commission to educate residents on the benefits of recycling and composting during Waste Reduction week, October 18-22.
While the FRSW commission public awareness campaign includes a ‘Get Caught Recycling’ contest, and the City of Saint John advertisements recognize its best composting neighbourhoods – the message is the same: let’s reduce waste. This message follows the recent release of the Vital Signs report which indicates composting efforts have seen a slight decline in the area.
Kevin Carson, the Urban Services Manager in charge of the City’s residential solid waste collection service says reducing waste is not only good for our environment in terms of landfill space and greenhouse gas emissions, it also makes sense for the taxpayer. “People know composting is good for the environment. What many don’t know is that it costs the City $108 in landfill fees per one metric tonne of garbage, while one metric tonne of compost costs $28, reports Carson. When you consider that 40% of household waste is compostable, there’s also a dollars-and-cents logic to putting your apple core in the compost rather than in the garbage.”
Carson says the most active composting neighbourhoods are Quinton Heights, Greendale, Fundy Heights and Champlain Heights. While City trucks do most of the residential collection, Carson says there is some confusion among residents about the split trucks operated by Fero, the City’s contracted solid waste collector. Brenda MacCallum of Fundy Region Solid Waste, who also fields such phone calls, explains why: “Many residents call thinking their garbage and compost are going to the same place inside those trucks. We explain to them that the truck is split, with regular refuse going in on one side, and compost on the other. When the trucks arrive on site, all compost goes directly to the compost facility, and not to the landfill.” Fero staff have even returned to collection neighbourhoods to demonstrate to doubting residents how the trucks work.
A demonstration of how the split truck works will be held at Harbour View High School at 2:30pm on Wednesday, October 20th hosted by Fero and the school’s Green Team. Harbour View High has had a composting program in place since 2006.
Media and the public are invited to attend the demonstration. Staff from the City of Saint John and Fundy Region Solid Waste will be available to answer the public’s questions about residential collection, recycling, composting, and waste reduction.
More information on Waste Reduction Week can be found on the City’s website at www.saintjohn.ca, where children can register their litter-free lunch for a chance to win a skating party.