City of Kingston seeking public input to reach 65% waste diversion goal

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WATCH: City of Kingston is consulting with the public to meet an increased waste diversion goal by 2025.

When the City of Kingston hit it’s goal of 60 per cent waste diversion from landfill in 2015 it was considered quite an accomplishment.

For one, that goal was achieved a full three years in advance of city council’s 2018 deadline. What’s more, the 60 per cent waste diversion has been reached every single year since.

The numbers for 2018 are expected to come out shortly, says the Director of Solid Waste Services Heather Roberts.

“We have every reason to believe that we have achieved 60 per cent, or over 60 per cent for 2018.”

The next target for the municipality is to reach 65 per cent by 2025.

READ MORE: Kingston looks to public to reach 65% waste diversion goal

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The city held two public consultation meetings in September to look at options to reach the higher goal.

Another two meetings are planned for October.

Municipal staff are looking for suggestions from residents but also have a list options that the municipality wants feedback on.

READ MORE: City of Kingston ponders big changes to curbside recycling, garbage collection

Options include weekly collection of blue, grey, and green bins – including yard waste – and only bi-weekly garbage pick up.

Another option being considered is a move to clear garbage bags.

“If a waste collector sees recyclables or organics in that bag or a certain amount of them, the bag would not be collected,” says Roberts.

Currently residents are only allowed to throw out one bag of garbage per week; anything more than that requires a $2 tag.

The city is considering raising the price of garbage bag tags or limiting the number of tagged bags a household can put out.

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Yet another option is mandatory use of green bins, which are used for organics and compost, for multi-residential buildings.

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Roberts says apartment buildings and condominiums are one area where the greatest waste diversion improvements could occur but also pose a wider range of challenges.

“Apartments are eligible to use the green bin program but we know they’ve got some barriers at those locations.”

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Roberts says those discussions will probably involve more discussions beyond the currently slated public meetings.

“We want to understand the resident’s perspective, owner perspective, property manager and superintendent perspective of how things are operating at those buildings.”

City staff plan to hand city a council a report with recommendations by the end of the year.

Roberts says implementation will likely be phased in starting late 2020 or early 2021.