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Trash audit helping update city’s waste diversion strategy

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One person’s trash is another person’s research.  

The City of North Bay has been looking into household waste that is picked up at the curb to better understand what kinds of materials are going to the landfill. 

Between June 20-24, students from Canadore College’s School of Environmental Studies sorted and categorized materials from randomly selected bags of garbage arriving at the Merrick Landfill site.  

A total of 80 bags were audited, capturing a sample of every neighbourhood in the city, and sorted into waste that is and isn’t included in the city’s diversion program.  

“Unfortunately, the first days of sorting showed a large amount of recyclable material including pop bottles, paper, cardboard and aluminum cans being thrown out,” says Environmental Control Officer Victoria Thomas. “There were also textiles, leaf/yard waste and household hazardous waste found in the bags. The final results of the audit will give us a good understanding of the city’s current diversion rate.”  

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Thomas says that will help determine what areas they need to focus on for future programs, education and outreach.

A report will be compiled for the city, which will be used to help update North Bay’s Waste Diversion Strategy. 

The city says past audits have indicated as much as 40 percent of residential waste arriving at the landfill is recyclable material.

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