The January 16th Waste Audit information session organized by the Sustainability Committee provided lots of tips and food for thought to help local residents reduce their household waste. Thirty three people from Smiths Falls and neighbouring municipalities attended the session at Trinity United Church and heard from three local municipal experts.
Tony Mack, Engineering Technologist with the Town of Perth, described their community compost program that has operated since 2008. Organic waste is picked up curbside from about 3000 households. Challenges include public education about what is acceptable, and dealing with plastics and other foreign materials in the compost. The resulting material is used for the Town of Perth’s own municipal projects.
Cathie Green, Public Works Assistant with the Township of Drummond North Elmsley explained what happens to our recyclables once they reach the Materials Recovery Facility (MRF), and what kind of products the various recycling streams become. She also had some suggestions on properly preparing materials recycling, and just as importantly, what not to include.
Vanessa Bernicky, Environmental Coordinator for the Town of Smiths Falls, explained how to take an inventory of the waste created by your household and provided suggestions for reducing it. She also explained that growing your own food is one way of reducing waste. Organics account for about 30% of the municipal waste stream, so backyard composting can also really make a dent in your amount of garbage. Vanesa highlighted some other community waste reduction options, including of course the REAL Deal Reuse Store.
Watch for other presentations in the Journey to Sustainability series, which will be announced on this website, in local media and on Facebook.
The speakers have all provided their presentations, so those of you who were unable to attend can be inspired to make some positive changes in reducing waste.
Town of Perth Composting Program, Tony Mack
Recycling, Cathie Green, DNE
Waste Audit, Vanessa Bernicky, Town of Smiths Falls