The blue boxes have become synonymous with recycling now all across Canada, and it’s good that people will be more likely to recycle items based on having that type of quick-reference point for where their recycling needs to go. An additional understanding of what can be recycled but can’t go into the box is still required of people though, and the fact that so much manual sorting continues to have to be done at facility means there’s progress that still needs to be made there.
Stringent regulations that exist for waste disposal in Ontario are easier to enforce compliance when it’s commercial scale or anything of the sort, and being a provider for dumpster rentals in Trenton and Colborne we have years and years of experience with the need to be adhere to regulations about what can be disposed of and where, and what can be recycled too. Jobsite cleanup usually involves putting more than a little bit of trash into the dumpster that will have to be separated from the rest once it gets to those facility.
But one area where there has been considerable success with recycling and Ontario’s blue box program is with paper-based packaging recycling, and that’s what we’ll look at with our blog entry this month. Call us anytime for Trenton disposal bin rentals and waste disposal.
Diversion Rate Cut Nearly in Half
Paper-based packaging has come to the forefront as a success story for Ontario’s household Blue Box program. This is based on both marketed tonnage based on new data released by the Ontario RPRA who are responsible for the province’s circular economy laws. There are 246 programs participating in this, and the residential waste management statistics and trends that are made clear from it are very helpful in reducing the amount of recyclable material that ends up in locations where it becomes disposed waste instead.
The most noteworthy find was that the program has lead to provincial diversion rates declining to 49.1% and in the vicinity of this number is where that rate continues to stay as we move into the middle of 2023. To define diversion in case that’s needed for anyone, it is the rate measured after the recyclable material has been processed at an MRF – material recycling facility.
So that 49.1% number reflects material that is placed in the Blue Box but is not recycled. Reasons for that could be anything from food or residue contamination, materials that are not readily recyclable or residents not properly separating their waste and placing non-recyclables in their Blue Boxes. Either because they don’t know any better, or often because they can’t be bothered to separate it and determine where it should go.
Paper-Based Packaging an Easier Fit
Everything from old corrugated cardboard, old boxboard, and a portion of residential mixed papers and mixed fibers packaging can be included in paper-based packaging, and it is with these types of materials that the Blue Box program has had the most success and the best inroads into having residents comply with the program. Approximately 290,00 tons have been processed in each of the last two years, and that’s up from 271,433 tons for 2020. The current number for 2022 and 2023 make up about 39% of the total Blue Box tonnage of 736,379 tons of the material recycled overall for those two calendar years. Again, not the type of material we’ll see much of in with our Trenton and Colborne dumpsters or waste disposal bins, but that’s as it should be.
Printed paper recyclables like newsprint, telephone books, household fine paper, and catalogues are the second largest volume of material seen as intake with the program. Currently it contributes about 20% of marketed tons collected but this category is unlike mixed paper and fibers in that the numbers are declining. Fortunately this is because of fewer materials produced and made available to the public, not that less of it is going into the boxes.
Printed papers have experienced a nearly 66% decline in tonnage from 2016-2021, while paper-based packaging has increased by 72.5% over the same period.
2/3 Properly Processed
Paper recycling is definitely a success story in Ontario now, as more than two-thirds of all paper that Ontario households generate is both collected and properly recycled through Ontario’s Blue Box program. The good news doesn’t end there, as a good portion of the material collected is then repurposed by PPEC member mills into other paper packaging products like boxes and cartons and the benefits of doing this are both immediate and far reaching.
And starting this July the Ontario Blue Box program starts its transition to a new producer responsibility regulatory framework. It will make it so that producers assume 100% responsibility of the operational and financial management of the program by the end of 2025.
The industry foresees a continued increase in paper packaging, particularly with the way brands and manufacturers are moving away from other types of packaging to sustainable, renewable, and recyclable paper-based packaging. By adding producer responsibility to this architecture of it all the hope is that it will promote improved end markets, less contamination, and residents doing more of the sorting on their own so that there are even higher overall and recycling rates in the Province.
Call Load n’ Lift first when you need to rent a dumpster in the Trenton or Colborne areas and for any instance where jobsite clean up and waste disposal means you need a disposal bin delivered and picked up right to the site. We’ve been in the business for many years and our high standing with the Better Business Bureau plus having plenty of people speak of our high customer service level means that you’ll have what you need for the best price and with the best service for dumpster rentals here. Discounts for military at CFB Trenton and a Senior’s discount are available, and we can have disposal bins delivered to you just as quickly as you need them.