BRAMPTON, ON. (Oct. 19, 2010) – 2,500 hockey pucks. That’s the weight equivalent of how much waste each Peel resident generates annually.
In 2009, the Region of Peel managed approximately 500,000 tonnes of waste from more than 400,000 households in Brampton, Mississauga and Caledon. This includes blue box and green bin material, yard waste and garbage as well as material collected at Community Recycling Centres, such as household hazardous waste, tires and scrap metal. That’s enough waste to fill approximately 62,000 curbside garbage trucks.
“Large municipalities like Peel, which has more than 1.2 million residents, generate a lot of waste. The challenge is to find ways to keep that waste from going to landfill,” says Norman Lee, Director of Waste Management at the Region of Peel. “Thanks to the efforts of Peel residents to diligently sort their recyclable material and dispose of their hazardous waste safely, 75 per cent of the residential waste generated in Peel last year was recycled into new products or converted into energy.”
Approximately half of Peel’s total waste is recycled through the blue box, green bin and yard waste programs, and Community Recycling Centres. The remaining waste is collected as garbage. Half of Peel’s non-recyclable garbage is converted to energy at the Algonquin Power Energy-from-Waste facility in Brampton. The other half is sent to landfill near Sarnia.
Last year, the Region collected more than 100,000 tonnes of blue box material from households, apartments and condominiums. Blue box recycling has many benefits: it conserves natural resources by using old materials to make new ones, it requires less energy than producing products from natural resources and it reduces the need for landfill. As well, blue box materials are valuable commodities that enable the Region to offset the operating costs of its recycling programs.
The Region also collected 33,000 tonnes of green bin material and 55,000 tonnes of leaf and yard waste that were mixed together to produce compost.
“In the spirit of Waste Reduction Week, we want Peel residents to know that their reduction, reuse and recycling efforts are making a difference,” says Lee. “It only takes a few minutes each day to properly separate blue box and green bin waste, and the benefits of these actions help create a healthy environment for current and future generations.”
Last year Peel recycled approximately:
- 2,200 tonnes of polyethylene terephthalate or PET (e.g. two litre plastic pop bottles) – enough PET to make 9,370,200 T-shirts
- 9,100 tonnes of mixed glass – enough glass to make 261,000 sliding glass patio doors
- 259,500 litres of motor oil – enough oil for 57,660 oil changes
- 640,100 litres of paint – enough paint to cover all the walls and ceilings of more than 14,000 homes (2,400 square foot homes)
- 57,000 tonnes of newsprint – enough newsprint to save 969,000 trees from harvesting
- 2,800 tonnes of steel food and beverage containers – equivalent to the weight of 1,900 cars
“We are pleased that Peel residents recycle so much, but in order to become a more sustainable community we need to reduce the amount of waste we generate in the first place,” adds Lee. “Manufacturers need to start producing products and packaging that are environmentally responsible, and residents can play a role by evaluating their purchasing habits and reusing as many of their existing items as possible.”
Waste Reduction Week runs from Oct. 18 to 24, 2010. To learn more visit www.wrwcanada.com.
The Region of Peel provides waste management services in the Cities of Brampton and Mississauga and in the Town of Caledon. For more information on these programs call the Region of Peel at 905-791-9499 or in long-distance areas of Caledon call 905-584-2216, free of charge. Visit the Region of Peel website at www.peelregion.ca/waste.