Zero Waste Simcoe nears end of county road trip
By Kate Harries WaterWatch
Last Wednesday, Essa Council was the 15th stop for Zero Waste Simcoe members who have been taking their message to councils across the county, coinciding with the waste management strategy development process currently underway at Simcoe County.
Katy Austin of Elmvale and Andrea Matrosovs of Collingwood went through a power-point presentation detailing the practicalities of achieving Zero Waste.
Extended Producer Responsibility is the first cornerstone: requiring manufacturers to plan for taking back, re-using or recycling every product.
“Right now, we’re subsidizing, using our own taxpayer dollars to get rid of waste,” Matrosovs said.
The group’s waste hierarchy sets avoidance as the most desirable approach: design products and systems to eliminate waste altogether. Then, in descending order, reduce, re-use, recycle, energy recovery and landfill.
“We subscribe to implementing a customized set of waste solutions to manage all wastes,” Austin said. Federal and provincial legislation will be required.
The Zero Waste representatives urged Essa Council to show municipal leadership by conducting a waste audit of its own operation and setting a diversion target – Markham has a 95 per cent target. Often simple solutions like eliminating waste bins at desk and instead having recycling containers in key locations will make a difference.
Councillor Rick Newlove suggested leaving packaging at the store, a tactic that Austin and Matrsovs endorsed. He also asked if Zero Waste Simcoe could list recyclable products and where people can go to buy them.
Mayor David Guergis proposed that the Essa Township website link to Zero Waste Simcoe. That would be evidence of municipal leadership, Matrosovs said.
The final Zero Waste Simcoe presentation is set for Tuesday December 15 at Bradford West Gwillimbury.