County marks green bin milestone

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The County of Simcoe has collected more than 200,000 tonnes of organic material from households and businesses since 2008, saving the equivalent of four years of local landfill capacity and offering countless environmental benefits.

The county held a celebration on Feb. 28 to mark the important milestone for its green bin program.

During the past 15 years, the program has seen steady growth in participation rates, with the highest increases year over year being seen since the move to bi-weekly recycling/garbage collection in 2020, and further growth of nearly 10 per cent since introducing automated cart collection in 2021, which increased organics capacity. Removing organic materials from the regular garbage stream has many environmental benefits, including conserving valuable landfill capacity, turning waste material into useable compost or soil amendments, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“It’s the small things we do each day that often have the largest impact, and we truly thank our residents and businesses for doing your part to help us reach this milestone,” said Warden Basil Clarke. “Working with our residents and businesses, we’ve made huge progress towards a greener, more sustainable future, reducing the emissions to the equivalent of 4,000 vehicles off our roads each year, which is no small achievement. Thank you for your efforts, but don’t stop here as there is still room to grow your green cart.”

Staff also brought forward a report that further demonstrated a regional commitment to diversion. Recent municipal Datacall figures placed the county second out of all participating municipalities, with an overall residential waste diversion rate of more than 63 per cent.

“Our team is very proud of reaching 200,000 tonnes of organics collected and continuing to be recognized among municipal leaders in diversion and waste management practices,” said Rob McCullough, director of solid waste management. “However, we are always striving to offer innovative programs and education that will help decrease the quantity of waste going to landfill inSimcoe County. Our most recent waste audit shows that we still have room for improvement, with opportunity to continue to properly sort. Over 50 per cent of the materials by weight in our garbage could still be diverted easily in our existing other programs, the majority of this is organics.”

Common items that staff often see in garbage carts that should go in organics carts are: edible food, food scraps, soiled paper items (paper towel/tissues), and pet waste. Residents are encouraged to use up edible food prior to disposing, however with no other option, food should always go in the green cart.

To further support residents, the county recently launched the Simcoe Sorts game on the Simcoe County Collects app, which quizzes and helps educate residents on sorting their waste materials. Residents can download the free Simcoe County Collects app through GooglePlay or the App Store. In addition to the new game, the app hosts customizable waste collections notifications for regular and special curbside programs, as well as access to the Waste Wizard, which allows users to look up items and learn how to dispose of them.

For more information on the county’s waste diversion strategy, waste facility information, curbside cart collection program and special collections such as our textiles, battery, leaf and yard waste, and electronics collections, visit

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