Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Langley City Streetside and Park Bin Waste Audit: First-Step to Divert Materials from Landfill

Garbage Bin

Langley City has several styles of streetside and park garbage and recycling containers throughout the community. As part of the City’s efforts to divert garbage, organics, recyclable materials, and pet waste from ending up in landfills or incinerated, staff have started a multi-phase process to help understand what people are throwing into streetside and park bins. This audit will help inform the creation of a program to promote a higher success rate in landfill/incineration diversion for bins within parks and on the street.

The first phase was a waste audit that looked at 51 bins of different types from various locations throughout Langley City. The following pie chart shows the overage categories of materials found in the bins.

Overall Primary Category Composition for Garbage Streams. Select chart to enlarge.

The largest category is pet waste. This waste is a concern because the best practice is to depose pet waste in the sewer, as pet waste in landfills contributes to the release of methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas. The City will need to develop a plan to address pet waste as part of future phases of this process.

The second-largest category was organic waste which should be diverted to regional compose facilities.

For the City’s streetside recycling bins, some people put effort into sorting material, but unfortunately, other people discard materials into the wrong bins, preventing recycling. Today, all material, including in the recycling bins, end up in landfills or incinerated as the rate of the inappropriate materials in each bin is around 50%.

Contamination Categories by Stream. Select chart to enlarge.

Now that the City knows the baseline of our streetside and park garbage and recycling containers, the next step will be to develop a pilot program to ensure that the City can get materials into the correct streams, whether for recycling, composting, pet waste, and garbage.

Council will have the option of including an $85,000 budget item next year to implement a pilot program. If the pilot program is successful, the City could implement a new streetside and park waste management plan as early as 2023.

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