Peterborough to reduce single-use plastics at City Hall and sewage treatment plant – Peterborough |

Peterborough city council, sitting as a general committee on July 4, backed a plan to phase in an eventual ban on single-use plastics at city-owned locations, including city hall and the water treatment plant. residuals.

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This includes items like shopping bags, cutlery, and drinking straws.

“The key products we are targeting are plastic straws. You can get rid of them and go to a reusable straw. Easy to do. Another example is stir sticks. A perfect example of an alternative is a piece of spaghetti (uncooked). Use it to stir your coffee,” said Dave Douglas, the city’s waste diversion manager.

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“Another product: coffee mugs. Carry a cup, use a reusable cup. Water bottles. Tap water is fantastic, use city water and use a reusable water bottle.”

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The recommended strategy would also see the City begin the creation of a City of Peterborough Zero Waste Event Planning Guide, develop and implement an enhanced public awareness campaign that includes updated promotional and educational signage for public spaces such as parks, public recreational and city owned. locations, and create a 24-month temporary contract position to assist with the design and implementation of the single-use plastics reduction strategy recommendations.

The cost of the proposed contract is estimated at approximately $100,000, which would be financed through a reserve.

“This (strategy) was one of my platforms and election promises in 2018 to the constituents of Peterborough, so I am pleased that the report is here with us tonight,” the Earl said. Gary Baldwin, who chairs the city’s waste management portfolio, said at the virtual general committee meeting on Monday.

Baldwin and a group of citizens formed a task force in 2019 to look at ways for the city to reduce its single-use plastics.

A few weeks ago, the federal government announced it would ban the manufacture of some single-use plastic items from January 1, while other bans won’t take effect until 2025 with the goal of achieving zero plastic waste by 2030.

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“What we are going to find is that just banning this will mean that less of it will be purchased and incorporated into our community, ultimately ending up in our waste stream or blue box,” Douglas added.

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Douglas tells Global News Peterborough that plastic makes up eight to nine percent of the city’s household waste stream.

It says much of it is recyclable, but some goes through the sorting system.

“Our challenge in our recycling plant, and we have state-of-the-art technology, a lot of these smaller items go through the sorting lines, and a lot of them are automated, they fall off and come out as waste in the end,” he said.

“You wouldn’t see a straw go through the system and be picked up or a stir stick be picked up by the optical eye, so these items are a challenge for us.”

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The city’s diversion rate is 52 percent.

Douglas says that when the city adds organic produce in 2023, it will add 20 percentage points to bring it over 70 percent.

“When we target these recyclables that end up in the trash stream, we anticipate that we can exceed 75 and ultimately 80 percent diversion in our quest for zero waste,” Douglas said.

Douglas added that a clear bagged trash program would be the “ultimate silver bullet” in the city’s pursuit of a high diversion rate and hopes that will be implemented in the future.

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The single-use plastics reduction strategy will need final approval at an upcoming council meeting.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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