Kawartha Lakes looking at new alternatives to reduce environmental footprint

By Lindsay Advocate

Councillor Kathleen Seymour-Fagan has proposed a possible Styrofoam ban.

A motion brought forward by Councillor Kathleen Seymour-Fagan to Committee of the Whole on May 7 proposed looking at a possible Styrofoam ban. The memo recommended that Kawartha Lakes staff conduct a study surrounding the feasibility of a ban and bring a report back to Council by the end of this year.

“It’s time that we do something. We can’t ban what’s coming in from external sources, such as online retailers, but we can ban what’s being used and sold directly in our municipality. It all ends up in the landfill,” commented Councillor Seymour-Fagan.

“I own a restaurant and there are options to ban Styrofoam. Part of our Strategic Plan is a healthy environment, and this is part of a healthy environment. It’s time we take a leadership role in change.”

In order to gauge the full impact the change would have for Kawartha Lakes, Councillor Seymour-Fagan also recommended that a consultation with local Chambers of Commerce be conducted to include business input.

Styrofoam is one of many materials that we are evaluating surrounding the environmental and operational impacts around recycling. Kawartha Lakes currently accepts Styrofoam in our recycling stream which is then sent to the Northumberland Material Recycling Facility (MRF). In 2018, MRF processed 10 tonnes of Styrofoam from Kawartha Lakes, costing the municipality approximately $10,000 for transporting, sorting and landfilling.

“In a recent climate change walk, students expressed their concern for the environment. This past weekend, I also participated in a local community clean-up where 80% of the waste collected was plastics and Styrofoam. This is a good start,” stated Councillor Richardson.

Councillor Yeo added a motion that single-use plastics be considered in the report as well.

Currently, Waste Management has also implemented programs to assist with recycling to keep items out of the landfill, such as the:

  • Clean wood program available at the Lindsay landfill
  • Drywall program available soon at both Lindsay and Fenelon landfills
  • Mattress recycling program available at the Lindsay landfill
  • Tire collection program
  • Electronics recycling
  • Scrap metal recycling
  • Leaf and yard collection, up to 250kg no-charge, and free woodchip giveaway
  • Curbside battery collection
  • Household Hazardous Waste disposal
  • Fenelon Re-use Centre
  • Habitat for Humanity Re-use Bin at Lindsay landfill
  • Round-up Environmental Days

For more information on the programs listed above, please visit www.kawarthalakes.ca/recycle, view the 2019 Municipal Calendar or call 705-324-9411.

Waste Management is currently reviewing new contracts for processing recyclable materials for 2020. The Integrated Waste Management Strategy is also under review. Public feedback and input is encouraged on recommendations for the future of Waste Management in Kawartha Lakes.

An online survey for the Integrated Waste Management Strategy will be available on the City’s website soon. Public meetings will also be held in the upcoming months so stay tuned by subscribing to the newsroom.

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