Amherst takes another step towards dual-stream recycling

Another step towards dual-stream recycling was taken by Amherst town council during its regular monthly meeting on Dec. 18 when it approved the first reading of amendments to its solid waste bylaw.

The amendments will require residents to sort their recyclables into two streams – container recyclables and fibre recyclables.

Container recyclables, which include beverage containers, glass jars and bottles, plastic bags and plastic packaging, will have to be placed in transparent, plastic, disposable, waterproof bags no smaller than 60 centimetres by 80 centimeters or bigger than 100 centimeters by 150 centimetres. The bags cannot weigh more than 25 kilograms.

Fibre recyclables, such as corrugated cardboard, newsprint and paper egg cartons, will have to be placed in separate, similar-sized, clear bags and face the same weight restriction.Recycling

Residents will be able to put up to six bags of recycled material out for collection at the curb on any one collection date. As an example, they could put out three bags of fibre recyclables and three of container recyclables on one occasion and on the next they could put out four bags of fibre recyclables and two of container recyclables.

The amendments will also require local businesses, institutions and industries to switch to two-stream recycling.

The amendments are directly related to a Sept. 12 fire that destroyed the Cumberland Joint Services Management Authority-run recycling facility at Little Forks.

During the authority’s search for a temporary replacement facility – it is now sending recyclables to Scotia Recycling in Kentville – the authority discovered it was the only jurisdiction in the province that used a one-stream collection process.

The authority had earlier requested that Amherst, Oxford and Cumberland County, switch to dual-stream recycling in order to help decrease the cost of sending recyclables to Kentville. It also indicated the move would also result in few rejections of recyclable material because there would be less contamination of materials.

The amendments do not impact the collection of compostable materials or residual garbage.

A first reading is a notice of intent to the public that changes are being considered to a bylaw. A public notice and a second reading must take place before the amendments are enacted.

In this case, the authority has agreed to hold a public meeting to outline why the change to dual-stream recycling is needed. That meeting is expected to be held sometime in January. A specific date has yet to be set.

During its committee of the whole meeting, council directed staff to prepare a request for proposals for residential solid waste collection as the current contract expires on March 31, 2018. The request for proposal will reflect the switch to dual-stream recycling collection.