May 10, 2019 5:04 pm
Updated: May 10, 2019 5:05 pm

Kingston looks to public to reach 65% waste diversion goal

Municipality wants 65% waste diversion by 2025

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When it comes to diverting waste from landfill and into blue, grey, and green bins, the city of Kingston reached its 60 per cent diversion goal ahead of schedule.

The 60 per cent goal was initially intended to be hit by 2018, but it was reached by 2015.

Since that time, waste diversion has remained flat.

Now the municipality is looking for solutions with a 65 per cent waste diversion goal set for 2025.

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For the last few weeks, the Kingston Area recycling centre has been running an online forum looking for ideas to attain that goal.

That closes on May 17 and shifts to focus groups scheduled to be formed and meet in June.

The city’s solid waste director, Heather Roberts, says the goal is more than attainable.

Roberts says waste composition audits have shown that 50 per cent of what they found in garbage bags could be recycled or composted.

“If we were to capture each and every piece of item that could go into a blue, grey or green we would probably exceed a 75 per cent waste diversion rate.”

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Roberts said while no decisions have been made she knows some of the topics open for discussion won’t be popular.

“Increasing the cost of the bag tag, the subject going back to clear bags prohibiting organics and recyclables in any garbage going to a landfill.”

New provincial policies may make some of those tough calls inevitable, according to Roberts.

“They talk about the need for there to be more separation of organics.”

Issues like that are why public engagement is so important, Roberts says.

Residents can sign up for the June focus groups until May 20.

“We only have 25 people so far and we were hoping to have a number of 80 people participating in these sessions.”

Further public input will take place this fall in a series of open houses with information compiled from the focus groups and the online forum.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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