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NACTR’s Post-Consumer Textile (PCT) Audit Guide was created to provide waste auditors and municipalities across Canada with a resource to help in the planning, design, and analysis of waste audits to measure textiles currently ending up in municipally managed waste streams. This first of its kind guide was developed in partnership and informed by the experiences of the Ontario Textile Diversion Collaborative, Recyc-Quebec, City of Toronto, Metro-Vancouver, National Association for Charitable Textile Recycling, and the City of Guelph in 2019. Further revisions and contributions in 2020 and 2021 included AET Group INC and KNOW IPR. We thank them for their meaningful contributions.

We invite you to click here which will direct you to the NACTR website to download a copy of the Textile Audit Guide, and to be included for future updates, please fill out the form. Using the guide and textile definitions for future waste audits will improve future research and information sharing across the industry!

On behalf of the Board of Directors, MWA, and the P&E Awards Judging Panel, we would like to congratulate the winners of the 2021 P&E Awards, and all municipalities that submitted this year.
The Promotion and Education Awards recognize outstanding achievements by Municipal Waste Association members for the use of promotion, education, and public engagement activities that have led to better waste management practices across our communities.

Congratulations to our 2021 P&E Award Winners:

Campaign (Large Municipality):
1. Niagara Region: Box it. Bin it. Sort it: 2020 Curbside Collection Service Level Changes
2. EWSWA: Bye, Bye Plastic Bags!
3. Toronto: Litter Emoji campaign

Campaign (Small Municipality)
1. Wellington County: Curbside Collection Programme Changes (July 2020)
2. Dufferin County: Let’s Sort it Out!

Print Tool
1. Dysart et al: “Let’s Protect The Environment Together” children’s activity book 
2. Dufferin County: Diversion Digest: Food Waste Edition
3. Barrie: 2020 Waste Collection Calendar

Social Media & Online Strategy
1. Waterloo Region: Virtual tour of landfill operations and the recycling centre
2. Dysart et al: 2020 Waste Reduction Week in Canada
3. Toronto: Love Food Hate Waste

Community Engagement & Outreach Program
1. Peel Region: Region of Peel’s Virtual Waste Workshops delivered by Ecosource
2. Northumberland County: Facebook Live! with Dan Orr
3. Toronto: Community Reduce and Reuse Programs (CRRP)

“Surprise Us” Category
1. Norfolk County: Household Hazardous Waste Appointment Based Event Days
2. Haldimand County: County Fair Robot Challenge
3. Barrie: Try out your green bin and rethink waste!

For a video recording of the MWA 2021 AGM & P&E Awards Ceremony & presentation slide decks, go to the MWA Resources page on the Members Portal. Find sample materials from the winning 2021 P&E Awards submissions on the P&E Committee page on the Members Portal.

By Isabelle Faucher, Managing Director, Carton Council of Canada

May 12, 2021

Without a doubt, the last year has been challenging for the carton recycling industry in Canada. Like most industries, we are grappling with the significant and sustained impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exacerbated fluctuations in both demand and price. Particularly in Ontario, the decrease in the value of cartons has been slow to rebound.

Nevertheless, there are strategies we can use to help mitigate the challenges and maximize the opportunities ahead of us. This is an excellent time to recommit to best practices like positive sorting, bale quality, and consumer education. In fact, these are important trends that we expect to continue to influence the state of carton recycling in Canada over the next year.

Positive Sorting and Bale Quality

One of Carton Council of Canada (CCC)’s main objectives is to help optimize the carton sorting efforts of Canada’s Materials Recovery Facilities (MRFs). CCC advocates for the positive sorting of cartons because:

  1. It provides for the highest environmental benefit as the end-markets that recycle cartons sorted into their own grade achieve the highest fibre yields and it can allow for the recovery of the polyethylene and polyethylene/Aluminum residuals (poly/Al).
  2. It minimizes the impact on other commodity grades (e.g., ONP, mixed paper bales) by realizing the highest potential price for those commodities.
  3. It supports the development of new carton-focused end-markets, a critical component of a thriving carton recycling value chain.

From an operational perspective, cartons are a relatively easy material to sort. They can be hand-picked, optically sorted, or pulled off from the conveyor by a robotic arm using AI. A survey by Éco Entreprises Québec and RECYC-QUÉBEC* recently investigated the materials exiting MRFs in Quebec. The study showed that the carton bales coming from the facilities that positively sort cartons in this province (currently 11 out of 23) on average consist of 96% gable-top and aseptic containers, as well as other generally accepted fibrous materials. With very little contamination, carton bales had the highest purity of all the materials audited.

Creative thinking, the resourceful use of technology and a commitment to positive sorting sets the stage for successfully increasing the quality and, in turn, the value of carton bales. There is no reason to believe that this success is not being/cannot be replicated in other facilities.

End-market situation

Just over a year ago, we were thrilled to announce that Sustana’s mill in Levis, Quebec, had begun accepting cartons for recycling. Although there has been a tangible benefit in terms of tonnages of carton bales sold and average value of used cartons, we are aware that those benefits have not made their way to Ontario, especially those in the southwestern part of the province. We are hopeful that the addition of a new end-market in Connecticut in the near future, plus the existing seven recycling facilities in North America, will improve the situation.

Continued Consumer Education

Another important element of the carton recovery and recycling equation is consumers: what they know about carton recycling, and how much faith they put in the process.

Recently, CCC wrapped up an 8-week social media campaign focused on increasing the public’s awareness about recycling cartons. Consumers in Ontario and Quebec were encouraged to learn more about carton recycling by watching an at-home carton recycling video or by taking a quiz and answering a series of myth-busting questions about recycling.

Consumers seemed eager to engage in the conversation. Engaged recyclers who are advocates for the circular economy shared their enthusiasm while others shared their ongoing concerns about the state of our recycling systems. For example, the often-misunderstood statistic “only 9% of plastics are recycled in Canada” was brought up numerous times by commentators.

The campaign reinforced that arming consumers with resources and demystifying carton recycling remains an important element of recycling success. To support local awareness efforts, CCC has also launched an updated Image and Ad Bank, featuring all the ads from the campaign, in addition to carton images that can be used by partners and stakeholders in their own education efforts.

Final Thought

Carton Council of Canada’s mandate is to deliver long-term solutions to help increase carton recovery and recycling in Canada.

If any facilities are having difficulty moving carton loads, have questions about the process or value of positive carton sorting, would like to engage in more consumer-focused education, or have any questions about carton recycling in Canada, please reach out to CCC’s Managing Director, Isabelle Faucher at:  ifaucher@recyclecartons.ca    

We are here to help!

*Document is available in French only

The Municipal Waste Association is pleased to announce to launch of the 2021 Promotion & Education (P&E) Awards!

This annual recognition program is a way for us to celebrate the ingenuity of our colleagues across the municipal waste sector. It’s an opportunity to share the promotion, education, and public engagement activities that have led to better waste management practices across our communities.

If your municipality created an innovative campaign, tool, strategy, event, or program that engaged residents in waste reduction in 2020, consider submitting it for an award. The Submission Form can be found at the end of this page.

You may notice that the award categories look a little different this year. For example, we have absorbed the Calendar category from previous years into the Print Tool category, have added categories for Special Events, and Community Engagement and Outreach Programs, and added a “Surprise Us” category. We feel this change better reflects the types of promotion, education, and engagement activities currently being tested and rolled out. We have also shaped our questions with an increased focus on creativity, novelty, innovation, and potential value to others’ learning. We hope this encourages municipalities to really focus on what sets their submission apart from the rest and from what they’ve done before, and hopefully leads to more actionable innovations shared across the network. Lastly, you will notice we have reduced many of the categories down to one stream for all municipalities. Population size does not have any real weight in how we score submissions on planning, effectiveness or novelty and innovation. What your submission has achieved given your goals, resources and past activities is what’s truly important.

We look forward to reviewing your submissions and we wish you good luck!
– MWA P&E Awards Committee

Awards Categories

CampaignThis award recognizes a waste management promotion and education campaign that uses a number of different communication tools to inform, educate and motivate residents. This category has 2 streams based on municipality size:

  • Large Municipality (50,001 households or more)
  • Small Municipality (50,000 households or less)

Print ToolThis award recognizes a promotion and education tool that appears in printed form (booklet, brochure, calendar, newsletter, pamphlet, poster, print advertisement, etc.) that is new and innovative to your municipality and that others can learn from. This category has 1 stream for all municipalities.

Social Media & Online StrategyThis award recognizes a buzz-worthy social media or online strategy (e.g. online advertisement, social media campaign, interactive website). We are looking for submissions that go beyond third-party tools and reminder apps. Show us something new, unique, and innovative. This category has 1 stream for all municipalities.

Special EventThis award recognizes a municipality’s organization of or participation in a special community event (e.g. Repair Cafes, Reuse Days, Ribfest) that directly reduced or diverted waste in a significant way. This category has 1 stream for all municipalities.

Community Engagement and Outreach ProgramThis award recognizes a municipality for its approach to community engagement and outreach in 2020 relating to waste management. The approach is meaningful, inclusive, and impactful. Examples could include a combination of webinars, workshops, surveys, booths, or other community engagement and outreach programs. This category has 1 stream for all municipalities.

“Surprise Us” CategoryThis award recognizes a P&E project that is innovative and unique and does not fit within any of the above categories. This category has 1 stream for all municipalities.

Submission Guidelines

  • Submissions must be campaigns, tools, strategies, events, or programs used between January 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020. 
  • Submissions are 100% digital this year! All submissions must be entered online via the submission form. If you want to save and return to your answers later, you must advance to the next page (click “next”) to save your work. You can even return to the form after you have submitted it (until the deadline), as long as you are using the same device. We recommend answering the questions in a word document then copying and pasting them into the form all at once.
  • Submissions could be related to any municipal waste management or diversion program, project or event, including but not limited to recycling, organics, household hazardous waste, user-pay or bag limits, public strategic planning sessions, etc.
  • Maximum of one submission per award category, per municipality.
  • Submissions must achieve a score of at least 45 to be eligible for an award; as a result, Gold, Silver, and Bronze may not be awarded in each category.
  • Winners will be announced and the awards will be presented online via P&E Awards Zoom Ceremony on Wednesday, June 2.
  • Winners will be asked to present their success stories and tips to MWA members at later date in 2021.

Submissions are judged based on planning, implementation, effectiveness, creativity, novelty, and value to others.

Deadline

The deadline to apply is Friday, May 7, 2021, @ 11:59 PM EST.

How to Submit

Awards submissions must be filled out digitally using this link:

2021 P&E Awards Submission Form

Here is a view-only pdf of the submission form for reference.

If you have any questions, contact Mike Hager, Membership Coordinator, at mike@municipalwaste.ca or (519) 823-1990.

The Municipal Waste Association is pleased to put out the latest edition of For R Information, our membership newsletter! This edition is a special one – packed with articles and resources relevant for the current challenges and solutions in our industry.
Featuring:

  • Updates about MWA
  • Guest articles on new recycling technology and infrastructure
  • Announcing the winners of the 2020 P&E Awards
  • A dose of inspiration for us all in these difficult times

Download a copy of the Summer 2020 Newsletter here!

On behalf of the Board and the P&E Awards Judging Panel, the MWA would like to congratulate the winners of the 2020 P&E Awards, and to all municipalities that submitted this year.

These awards celebrate the creativity and innovation that go into advancing public engagement in waste diversion. They’re an opportunity to recognize the success of our colleagues in the municipal waste sector. 

As John Watson, judge and host of the P&E Awards, remarked, “our industry learns from the success that everyone shares with each other…it’s vital that we can learn from best practices, so we can use our [resources] in a targeted way to increase waste diversion in our respective municipalities.”

Congratulations to the winners

Samples of the P&E campaigns and tools submitted for the awards are available to members on the MWA members portal!

Thanks to our P&E Awards Sponsor

The Compost Council of Canada has published the data from its 2020 national survey on compost and anaerobic digestion facilities in Canada. The interactive map posted on www.compost.org allows you to explore provincial and territorial-specific composting infrastructure, regulations, guidelines, and other industry information.

“Summary results of the recent national survey of organics recycling survey conducted by The Compost Council of Canada are now being shared on www.compost.org. Summary information about many of the centralized composting and anaerobic digestion facilities in Canada along with information concerning regulations, guidelines and other information documents that impact the current and future development of the Canadian organics recycling industry are also being identified through an interactive map according to province and the territories.”

Compost Council of Canada, 2020.

As we continue to monitor the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in Canada and the growing response from all levels of governments, the MWA has started compiling a list of resources to help municipalities navigate the impacts of COVID-19 on waste and recycling programs, and how they can ensure continuity of service and safety for staff and residents.

Impacts of COVID-19 on the solid waste and recycling sector:

Response from the Government of Ontario:

On March 23, 2020 the Ontario government ordered the closure of all non-essential services to help fight the spread of Covid-19. A list of essential services was created. Some of the services deemed essential and may continue operating apply directly to our members. These include services that help to ensure safe and effective waste management, that support environmental management/monitoring and spill clean-up and response, waste collection, waste/sewage treatment and disposal, operation of landfills, and hazardous waste disposal.

How municipalities are responding:

Based on surveys and online research conducted by the MWA and the Regional Public Works Commissioners of Ontario (RPWCO), we have assembled a spreadsheet that provides status updates of several municipal waste management programs. This spreadsheet identifies canceled or modified waste collection programs with further details and links. If your municipal program is not listed or needs to be updated, please contact mike@municipalwaste.ca.

Important resources for COVID-19 contingency planning:

ResourceDescriptionSource
COVID-19: cleaning in non-healthcare settings Special guidelines for cleaning and safe waste management for residents and municipalities. Public Health England
Emergency Waste Contingency Plan for Border Disruption due to COVID-19 Letter to MOECP on impacts of US border disruptions on the export of solid waste for disposal in US landfill sites, and recommended policy actions. Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA)
COVID-19 ResourcesMunicipal aspects of the COVID-19 PandemicAssociation of Ontario Municipalities (AMO)
COVID-19 General Safety Checklist for Recycling Operations A checklist that provides an assortment of modified procedures and ways of doing business to keep employees, customers, and visitors safe.The Canadian Association of Recycling Industries (CARI)
COVID-19 and zero wasteThis webinar will bring together waste and health experts to assess the impacts that the COVID-19 virus is having on zero waste policies and strategies in Europe. It will examine whether governments can simultaneously prioritise the health and protection of their citizens, whilst also progressing towards their local zero waste agenda.Zero Waste Europe
Waste collection worker health and safety during COVID-19This document outlines best practices, tips and additional resources for employers to ensure they are taking all reasonable precautions to protect waste collection worker health and safety during COVID-19Infrastructure Health & Safety Association (IHSA)

As new developments emerge in Ontario’s response to COVID-19, we expect to see a growing list of municipal contingency plans for waste and recycling collection and/or processing services. As these plans become publicly available, we will post them here to share so that our members can stay informed and prepared, together.

Take care. Stay safe. Keep calm and carry on.

Trevor and Mike, from the MWA.