Recovering Waste In Colchester County!Back to news
Do you know where your waste goes after it is collected?
The Colchester Solid Waste Management Department has three facilities in Kemptown, Nova Scotia, that process recyclables, organics, and garbage from Colchester County. While many people still imagine a heaping landfill when they think of garbage, the Waste Reduction Division is working to change that image. The Colchester Materials Recovery Facility is capable of recycling more materials than ever before, which diverts more waste from landfills.
The facility recycles a lot of materials, such as clothing, shoes, linens, styrofoam, plastics numbered 1 through 7, phone books, tin cans, aluminium cans and more. Colchester Solid Waste Management works hard to stay connected with the people of Colchester County. With a population of more than 50,000 people, that is no easy feat. There are some a great online tools such as reminders for collection days, and more! Not sure where that thingamabob goes? Simply search for it on the online sorting guide and the information is yours! The handy Waste Reduction Guide is also available for download. They even use Twitter (@ColchesterWRM)! They also offer tours of the facility and host an annual Open House. While the facility works hard to find new purposes for waste materials, the main message is clear: waste reduction starts at home.
In 2016, the facility started recycling styrofoam and textiles, including old clothes and shoes. Textiles that are in good condition are donated, and the rest get recycled. The styrofoam that is collected gets turned into “bricks” of polystyrene material and can be sold and reused. These items are not widely recycled in Nova Scotia so to find out more about challenging waste materials, check with your county.
Divert NS has a large processing facility near these facilities in Kemptown where almost 80% of Nova Scotia’s beverage containers are processed. About 204 million containers were accepted there from April through September 2017, according to the recent Divert NS newsletter, RECAP. That’s a lot of waste diverted from Nova Scotia landfills! Divert NS recently challenged Halifax’s Dave Culligan to a Waste-Free Week which you can hear about in this video. Would you be up for the challenge of a Waste-Free Week? This is a great way to help us realize how much waste we really produce every day. That daily coffee run adds up!
A big contributor to daily waste is disposable plastic such as shopping bags, drinking straws, disposable dishes, and plastic cutlery. Try these tips to ditch the single-use plastic:
1. Bring your own bags when you shop.
2. Skip the straw or get a reusable one.
3. Use your own dishes and cutlery from home.
Before you know it, you’ll see a noticeable reduction in the waste in your garbage cans and recycling bins! With recent local news of plastic bag recycling issues, this is an opportune time for Nova Scotians to take a minute to think and do their part to reduce their waste. To learn more at school, check out the free lesson plans from Divert NS for curriculum-based learning about waste for primary to grade six. Let’s make 2018 the year we all waste less!
Engagement Officer, North
Photo Credits: Colchester 2017 Waste Reduction Guide & photos taken at Truro Elementary School by EO Pam Chandler