| Aug 03, 2006

Feature Article - August 3, 2006

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Feature Article - August 3, 2006

SouthFrontenac makes recycling deal with Kinton

by Jeff Green

Sometimes bad luck turns into good luck.

That’s what happened for South Frontenac Township when they were informed by a company called WSI, which had won the township’s recycling contract last year, that the company would no longer be providing the service as of September 1st.

WSI had come up with a very competitive price to win the contract, $16 per ton, and township staff began scouting around for a new contractor, hoping it would not mean a large increase in costs.


Fortunately, it turned out that the City of Kingston , whose recycling facility had been operating at capacity last year, and was not interested in taking recycling from the surrounding region, has recently decided to expand their facilities. The city has agreed to take on South Frontenac’s recyclables at a price that should be substantially less than $16 a ton.

“The city will weigh our stuff in the various streams, plastic, glass, etc. and will sell the material directly. The selling price will be deducted from the fees we will pay. We think the price will net out at $12 per ton,” said South Frontenac Councillor Peter Roos, a member of the township’s sustainability committee, when interviewed by the News early this week.

The township is responsible for trucking costs in addition to the recycling fee, but the example of Roos’ own Storrington district, where all other waste is trucked to a landfill at a price of $78 per ton plus trucking, illustrates the cost savings that come with a strong recycling program.

The township also receives some money from Waste Diversion Ontario, a provincial body, based on the ratio of recycled material to material that goes into landfill.

AMO pushes government on recycling policy

As South Frontenac was dealing with its own recycling situation, the Association of Municipalities of Ontario released a position paper entitled “Improving the efficiency of the Blue Box program”.

A major focus of the report is coloured glass, which is costly to handle, has little or no market value, and is sold mostly by one large retailer, the government owned Liquor Control Board of Ontario (LCBO). Of the 75,000 total tonnage of coloured glass bottles sold annually in the province, 66,200 tons are sold by the LCBO.

The report goes on to say that in the latest year for which information is available, 2003, “The wine and spirit bottling industry paid over $50 million in the form of a ten cent ‘environmental levy’ for each bottle of wine or spirits they bottled in Ontario . The $50 million went into the general revenue fund of the province and is not used in any way towards the environmental management of these containers. The residential property owners of Ontario are paying to manage a recyclable material that is sold into the Ontario marketplace by the LCBO, a crown corporation that returned a ‘profit’ to the Government of Ontario of over $900 million in 2003.”

The position paper recommends that the LCBO be directed to establish a deposit-refund system for alcoholic beverages, and that all or a portion of the $50 million collected from bottlers be used to set up the system.

This, along with other recommendations, is designed to make recycling programs more cost effective for municipalities, in the hopes that municipalities will redouble their efforts to encourage recycling by ratepayers who will benefit through lower municipal taxes.

Waste management costs have been increasing dramatically in rural Ontario in recent years, as townships face dump closure costs and find they are unable to establish replacement facilities.

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