The two-stream re­cy­cling so­lu­tion

The Glengarry News - - Front Page - BY STEVEN WAR­BUR­TON News Staff

Glen­gar­ri­ans will soon be asked to start sort­ing their re­cy­cling now that North Glen­garry coun­cil has ap­proved a dual-stream model for the RARE re­cy­cling fa­cil­ity.

Un­der the new sys­tem, which will come into ef­fect in Jan­uary of 2019, RARE will ac­cept pa­per and pa­per prod­ucts one week and con­tain­ers like jars, bot­tles, tin cans, plas­tic, glass, and metal, the next.

“It will ab­so­lutely help us be­cause the ma­te­rial will come in cleaner,” says Linda An­drushkoff, Gen­eral Man­ager of the Re­cy­clage Alexan­dria Re­cy­cling Équipe fa­cil­ity in Alexan­dria. “Pa­per prod­ucts were com­ing in too dirty be­fore be­cause it was be­ing mixed with all the other ma­te­rial. Now it will be eas­ier to sell.”

The un­load­ing process at RARE will also change. Ma­te­ri­als are now tipped in the yard out­side the RARE build­ing, where rain and snow can add un­wanted mois­ture to the fi­bre prod­ucts. Un­der the new model, those prod­ucts will be un­loaded in­side the build­ing, en­sur­ing that they will be even cleaner.

“I’m very happy about this change,” she says. “We al­ways sold our plas­tic and met­als lo­cally while the pa­per prod­ucts went over­seas. Now, it will all be pur­chased do­mes­ti­cally.”

In the past, RARE sold its fi­bre prod­ucts to China and, oc­ca­sion­ally, Korea, Viet­nam and In­dia. At the time, China paid more than do­mes­tic mar­kets and was never too over­stocked to take ad­di­tional ship­ments. At its peak, RARE some­times ex­ported as many as five ship­ments a week. Also, China’s clean­li­ness stan­dards were a lot more lax, but that all changed last year when that coun­try stopped ac­cept­ing im­ports of low grade post- con­sumer plas­tic and pa­per re­cy­cling ma­te­rial. China be­gan in­sist­ing on a much more thor­ough sort, the kind RARE just wasn’t equipped to do. Up un­til March, RARE sent its ex­cess ma­te­rial to the North Glen­garry land­fill in Glen Robert­son. Af­ter that, it started send­ing ma­te­ri­als to an­other fa­cil­ity in the United States.

Ob­vi­ously, a change like this can­not come overnight. Ms. An­drushkoff says that the mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties that send their re­cy­cling to RARE – North and South Glen­garry, North Stor­mont, and Rus­sell Town­ship – will have to ed­u­cate their cit­i­zens and work with their con­trac­tors to make the nec­es­sary amend­ments.

She says that the new ar­range­ment won’t re­quire any ad­di­tional trucks but it will ne­ces­si­tate ex­tra train­ing for some mu­nic­i­pal em­ploy­ees, adding that there will soon be a big “pub­lic out­reach” to ex­plain the changes to res­i­dents. Part of that out­reach will in­clude the pur­chase and dis­tri­bu­tion of ad­di­tional col­lec­tion bins. Ms. An­drushkoff says they likely won’t be blue – the typ­i­cal colour of re­cy­cling con­tain­ers – to make it eas­ier to dif­fer­en­ti­ate be­tween fi­bres and con­tain­ers.

The new bins are ex­pected to cost about $35,000.

Plant up­grades

Ad­di­tion­ally, the RARE plant it­self will get an up­grade. Specif­i­cally, its bal­lis­tic sep­a­ra­tor will be re­placed with a slider belt, which will make it eas­ier to process fi­bre prod­ucts. This up­grade is ex­pected to cost an ad­di­tional $30,000. A fur­ther $10,000 is ex­pected for en­gi­neer­ing and re­lated costs.

A RARE staff re­port es­ti­mates the new model will save the plant about two days per week by se­verely re­duc­ing or even elim­i­nat­ing back­logs as the staff will be able to process all in­com­ing ma­te­rial.

Fur­ther, Stew­ard­ship On­tario re­ports that, on av­er­age through­out On­tario, residue from re­cy­cling goes down from 13 per cent to five per cent, when com­par­ing a sin­gle stream col­lec­tion sys­tem to dual stream. This will re­duce the amount of ma­te­rial go­ing to land­fill from RARE.

Coun­cil re­ac­tion

North Glen­garry coun­cil unan­i­mously ap­proved the new method at a re­cent meet­ing.

Maxville Coun­cil­lor Carma Wil­liams, who, in the past, ques­tioned pro­posed changes to RARE, said she was com­pletely on board with the new di­rec­tion. “The dual stream will re­move some of the work­load at RARE and put the re­spon­si­bil­ity of the ini­tial sort­ing on the home­owner,” she says. “This will al­low for a cleaner and higher qual­ity prod­uct that we can sell.” She says she’s not con­cerned that the pub­lic will re­ject its new re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“I think that peo­ple are look­ing for ways to re­cy­cle more ef­fec­tively,” she says.

SORT­ING: The RARE re­cy­cling plant is in­tro­duc­ing a dual col­lec­tion method.

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