Waste Carts and Cool Technology

It’s Year 2 and another round of Guelph residents are preparing to roll out their carts!   So far, the majority of current existing cart users are telling us they prefer the carts to the use of bags.   That’s good news.  Read more here.

Phase 2 residents – here is additional information about your carts.  Click here.

One very cool piece of waste collection technology that is worthy of note:   our collection trucks are equipped with cameras that allow an operator to see the contents of the bin as it is being emptied, and then make note of the address.  Our Solid Waste compliance staff can then follow up with the homeowner or tenant personally, to help educate them on the sorting requirements.   This is a great step forward — no more rejecting bags at the curb and a more personal approach to education on diversion….

What Should I Do With My Christmas Tree?

Guelph never ceases to amaze me! This is why we are the Most Caring City in Canada – a true community collaboration. Not sure what to do about your Christmas tree now that city collection has ceased? Don’t worry – for a donation to Guelph Children’s Foundation –Trees for Tots — your tree can go to a good cause. More information can be found here: http://http://www.childrensfoundation.org/stories/extra-extra/trees-for-tots-christmas-tree-pick-up-in-support-of-grants-program

Other ideas: chop up branches and put in green cart, take to Waste Resource Innovation Centre, saw into firewood or campfire wood, or compost branches and use trunk for landscape purposes.

“Be a Good Sort”

During the holidays, I noticed that my own family have become lazy sorters, so I reminded them (again) that it is important to keep recyclables out of the clear bag.

“But it all goes to the same place, Mom,” they said.

Oh no!  If my own family has fallen into the trap of thinking that, it’s time for a reminder.  Yes, your blue, green and clear bags all go to the Guelph Waste Resource Innovation Centre (WRIC) — but that’s not their final destination.   Each waste stream goes somewhere else from there.

Blue bags are the most imporant stream to keep “pure” in my opinion.  The blue bags are seperated into different recyclable commodities and sold to generate revenue that goes towards the city’s bottom line.

Clear bags are going to a landfill in St. Thomas, Ontario.   Green bags are going to a energy-from-waste facility across the border (but not for long).

A new year’s resolution for my family is to “be good sorts.”

SUBBOR to Pay City of Guelph $2.5 Million

The following media release was sent out this evening…


SUBBOR to pay City of Guelph $2.5 million
Settlement brings successful conclusion to court battle with SUBBOR, avoiding need for future court proceedings.

GUELPH, ON, November 23, 2009 – The City of Guelph will receive $2.5 million in legal costs from SUBBOR (Super Blue Box Recycling Corporation) and its parent company Eastern Power Limited. The award is part of a settlement between the City and the two companies that comes after the Ontario Superior Court and the Ontario Court of Appeal have already ruled in the City’s favour. Guelph City Council ratified the settlement at tonight’s meeting.

SUBBOR and Eastern Power Limited will pay the City of Guelph $2.5 million in instalments, with interest payable in the event of any default in payment.

Other aspects of the settlement include SUBBOR and Eastern Power Limited’s agreement to surrender all rights to the SUBBOR building — which is located on the site of Guelph’s Waste Resource Innovation Centre — and the land on which it resides.  The companies have 90 days to remove their equipment from the site, not far from where excavation is currently underway in preparation for Guelph’s new Organic Waste Processing Facility.

“We are extremely pleased the City has reached a settlement with SUBBOR and Eastern Power Limited, eliminating the need for further court proceedings,” Guelph’s mayor Karen Farbridge said on behalf of City Council.  “The settlement is a good one for the City, bringing successful finality to what has been a long ordeal.”

Both the Superior Court of Justice and the Court of Appeal found in favour of the City of Guelph after SUBBOR launched a lawsuit against the City in 2003, claiming $32 million in damages for an alleged breach of contract. In 2007 the Court dismissed SUBBOR’s claim and awarded full costs to the City. The Court of Appeal upheld the Superior Court’s decision and the awarding of costs against SUBBOR and Eastern Power Limited.  SUBBOR’s appeal was dismissed on all counts on June 16. The City of Guelph has already been awarded and has been paid $100,000 for its costs related to the appeal.

Region of Waterloo Organics Coming to Guelph

Dean Wyman, Manager of Solid Waste Services for the City of Guelph, announced some fantastic news today!

When Council awarded the design-build contract to Maple Reinders to construct and operate the new Organic Waste Processing Facility, Council asked “with 20,000 tonnes of excess capacity will staff be able to source that much tonnage?”.

Today, Mr. Wyman wrote:

“I’m pleased to inform Council that City staff in partnership with AIM Environmental and the City of Hamilton have been awarded a contract to process up to 20,000 tonnes per year of source separated organics (SSO) from the Region of Waterloo.  The term of the contract starts in October of 2009 and ends October 2013.  Until Guelph’s new OWPF is operational the material will be processed at Hamilton’s Central Composting Facility (CCF).

This means that once the new Guelph OWPF is operating in 2011 that it will be operating at very close to full capacity.”
This is great news for Guelph, as the revenue will help offset the operational costs for the facility and will also allow the Region of Waterloo to process its organic waste close to home.  Congratulations to Solid Waste services for making this happen!