Our Stinky Garbage Problem and What Goes Where

60% of materials in Simcoe County's garbage stream should have been tossed into the green bin

It’s scary to think that one million plastic bottles are thrown out every minute and over 5 trillion pieces of plastic are currently floating in our oceans – where there will be more plastic than fish by the time 2050 rolls around.

Here in Ontario we toss out about a tonne of waste per person each year and given the projected population growth and economic trends, it is forecast that Ontario will need 16 new or expanded landfills by 2050 if no progress is made in resource recovery and waste reduction.

Grow Your Bin Knowledge, Click the Image

Think green and help save some green

In Simcoe County as much as 60% of materials that end up in our garbage stream should have been tossed into the green bin and not the garbage.

In unveiling a new green bin campaign, the County released some videos about the impact composting has on the garbage stream.

Almost every plastic item we’ve made since the 1950’s is still in our environment

The Plastic Disclosure Project, a project run by Hong Kong-based advocacy group Ocean Recovery Alliance, estimates that 33 percent of plastic manufactured worldwide is used once, then discarded. Making matters worse, 85 percent of the world’s plastic is not recycled when discarded. 

There are an estimated 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic floating in the ocean. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, there could be more plastic than fish in the oceans by 2050. It is only getting worse. Plastic consumption is actually still increasing, for example, 1 million water bottles are thrown out every minute.

Where do things go?

The County has a waste wizard that breaks down what goes where.

Cost of Recycling in Ontario

  • 884,504 Tonnes Total Blue Bin (Ontario, 2014)
  • 89,101 Tonnes Total Plastic (10.1% of total)
  • $337.6m Gross Operational Costs in 2014
  • $92m revenue from program (2014)

Cost of Waste in Ontario

  • In 2014 alone, about 11.5 million tonnes were generated in the province – that’s nearly a tonne of waste per person every year.
  • Historically, three-quarters of this waste has been sent to landfill. This figure has not improved in almost a decade.
  • According to Statistics Canada, local government expenditures for waste management in Canada increased from $1.8 billion in 2004 to $3.2 billion in 2012.
  • Studies have also shown that Ontario’s existing waste diversion programs can create up to 10 times more jobs than waste disposal.
  • It is estimated that for every 1,000 tonnes of waste diverted in Ontario, seven jobs are created through the existing waste diversion programs.