Greater public awareness needed about Muskoka’s low performance in waste diversion
District Councillors expressed concern about public awareness and performance of waste diversion in Muskoka, in the September 26, 2022, District Council meeting.
Questions continue to flow about the District’s Waste Diversion strategy implementation. Among them are how much communication will be going out to the public about our performance and importance of it.
Councillor, John Klinck, inquired about whether the District is pointing out the “dismal diversion percentage in Muskoka.” He added, “The vast majority are not doing what needs to be done.”
District Commissioner, James Steele, indicated they are making efforts to ensure the public understands why we’re implementing the diversion program, “to improve our stewardship of the environment.” He added that it its also expensive to maintain the current transfer station, which is a viable option to having a new one.
In agreement with Steele about the high expense associated with waste diversion, Councillor John Klinck emphasized concern about public awareness regarding proper waste diversion and its impacts, and said, “Proper recycling helps to maintain our current transfer station. To replace it, you can anticipate costs between 20 to 30 million dollars. Therefore, it’s not inexpensive to receive waste.”
Councillor, Don Smith, advised, “The instructional aspect of recycling is very important… Talking to many people, there’s a sense that we do a good job… Initially we did a good job, but we haven’t kept up and need to do a better job. I think that there’s a mindset we need to overcome, and ongoing discussion is needed.”
Steele advised, “A significant portion of the costs is stewardship at the sites and managing the program,” and that a part of ongoing communication will include where the waste dollars will go.”
Councillor, Terry Glover, agreed that greater communication about performance and education needs to continue, and added, “Even though there’s no curbside, make sure that Lake of Bays gets communication because they’re not recycling as they should.”
Steele indicated that communication efforts are being made at bin transfer stations, who are talking to the public, and that it will continue with the new curb side contractor and the public moving forward. He added, “There will be broad communication regarding stewardship of waste focuses and regarding waste bins.”