(Moncton, June 28, 2016) – After considerable public consultation and research, the Southeast Regional Service Commission (SERSC) has approved a recommendation to transition waste separation to a three-stream system in Westmorland and Albert Counties of NB and has asked staff to work with municipalities, the province, haulers and other stakeholders to finalize details relating to schedule, collection, and communications.
“This system will make sorting waste in our region easier and more flexible for residents while allowing the Commission to capture more recyclables and create a better compost,” said SERSC Interim Chairman Jacques LeBlanc. “The other major benefit of this transition is that it allows the Commission to expand the recycling and composting system into apartments and commercial sectors.”
“People have been asking us to do more for the environment, to include apartments and the commercial sector in our recycling and composting program, and to provide better services”, said LeBlanc. “The 3-stream program will allow us to do all of this without increasing overall costs”.
The Commission began looking at ways to bring apartment and commercial waste on-line with the recycling and composting program in late 2014. After a thorough review of the SERSC’s facilities and strategy, it was determined that sticking with the current Blue and Green bag system would push the recycling and composting facilities beyond capacity, necessitating we double the size of our recycling and composting plants at an estimated cost of $15 to $20 Million. The better option was to reduce the amount of non-recyclable and non-compostable material coming into these plants.
In the current system, SERSC has had to remove the non-compostable and non-recyclable waste from the recycling and compost streams by hand and with machinery. “This is material that belongs in the landfill but takes up processing space in our plants; by removing it at the source, we free-up capacity for more true recyclables and compost from other sectors,” said LeBlanc.
“The 3-bag system is much more intuitive for residents than our Blue/Green system,” said LeBlanc. “With a 2-bag system, there has been some confusion around those materials that we know are not compostable or recyclable, and finding the right bag for them. “With the 3rd bag system, we will be asking residents to simply do their best to put recyclable items in a blue bag, organic material in a green bag, and everything else in the 3rd bag,” says LeBlanc. “If they are not sure, the material can be placed in the 3rd bag. We are just asking people to do their best.”
“We are confident that the 3-stream system will lead to more recyclables and organics being recovered at a higher quality, and less material being sent to our landfill,” said LeBlanc. “Our landfill cells will last longer, and at a cost of over $2 million to construct, that represents a significant operational cost savings for the Commission. We’re making these changes because it’s the right thing to do for our region.”
With operational savings and increased revenues from recyclables, the Commission is looking at a number of options for expanding their services such as;
longer operating hours at the site,
improved communications (including a website overhaul, publishing recycling results, a sorting and collection calendar app, etc.),
mobile eco-depots where residents can bring hard-to-dispose of materials such as household hazardous waste, construction-demolition waste, woodstove ashes, branches, and other waste that isn’t easily picked up at the curb,
and support of charitable groups working to increase re-use of materials such as furniture and clothing, or who organize community cleanup initiatives like park, watershed, and illegal dumpsite cleanups.
“Our next steps are to finalize details with all stakeholders relating to schedule, collection and a communications and public education strategy that will roll-out this summer and into the fall,” said LeBlanc.
The Commission is aiming for a mid-October start date for residential waste with the 3-bag system and will expand gradually into apartments and commercial sectors from there.
In the meantime, anyone wishing to tour of the facilities, or for additional information or inquiries, call their hotline at 506-877-1040 or send them an email at email@example.com.
SE Recycle (formerly Westmorland-Albert Solid Waste Corporation) is the solid waste department of the NB Southeast Regional Service Commission. We serve over 160,000 residents in Southeast NB in the Counties of Westmorland and Albert. SE Recycle oversees the waste management facility on Berry Mills Road. The site includes a lined sanitary landfill, secure Construction & Demolition (C&D) waste disposal site, permanent HHW Depot, Blue waste recycling plant, Green waste composting plant, and many other components.
As part of our Blue/Green Program, SE Recycle has many successful recycling programs using the products we hand-sort from your Blue bags. These materials include milk cartons, coffee cups, newspaper, cardboard, metals, electronics, Styrofoam, all types of plastics (including plastic bags), and many other products. These materials are hand-sorted from the rest of your waste and sold to recycling markets where they are used to make new products. The waste from Green bags makes compost used on our sanitary landfill as daily cover.
We began accepting waste on the site in 1992 and have come a long way since then. In addition to a lined sanitary landfill, we have a wood waste recycling area, secure C&D waste disposal site, a tire recycling area, a permanent HHW Depot, a transfer station for residents with small amounts of waste, a methane/landfill gas collection system, etc. Our residential sorting and diversion program began in a few Municipalities in 1999 and quickly spread across the Region.
For details on what types of waste are accepted or more information on the site, please contact SE Recycle at 506-877-1040.