GRASSROOTS WEEK #2 - The lifecycle of your garbage - from manufacturing to landfill “Everything you have comes from the Earth and the Earth will GREEN FACTS have to absorb it as waste when you are finished with it.” David Suzuki, June 13, 2008 What’s in your garbage can? Why is this an important issue to Aylmer residents? 1. Environmental reasons. Every single thing you purchase leaves an environmental footprint. It is manu- factured (or grown), packaged, shipped and in the case of some items, disposed of. All of these 20% 25% true garbage kitchen steps require energy to complete the cycle. Another environmental reason is because organic waste left to decompose in an anaerobic state (such as in a garbage bag) produces methane gas residue organics which is one of the most potent greenhouse gases. Currently, our landfill site does not have the systems in place to capture methane and turn it into electricity. They are working on it but in the meantime, do we really want to be pumping methane into our atmosphere? One more reason, carbon dioxide. The more waste we produce means we need more trucks to come and pick it up, 30% 25% recycling yard waste therefore, more carbon emissions are coming from those trucks and polluting our air. 2. Financial reasons. The cost of fuel is rising. The price set by our garbage collector is based on all their expenses including fuel. Therefore, the price is going to go up and that will affect your property taxes. Currently, the price is set on a per tonne basis. We can’t do anything about the price of THANK YOU... A very special thank you to gas but we can do something about the number of tonnes we put out on the curb each week. Dave Raney, BFI Canada for all So what do we do? Think about what you buy, the packaging it comes in, divert organic waste to your the helpful information. backyard composter and CONSUME WISELY! A very special thank you to Dave Raney, BFI Canada for all A FEW INTERESTING STATISTICS.... the helpful information. 1. The Earth’s population is now 6.7 billion people. By 2050, the prediction is that num- This Week’s Challenge... ber will jump to 9.1 billion. That’s a lot of garbage. Pay attention to everything you buy 2. In Ontario, we produce 0.8 tonnes of garbage per person per year, this includes what and what goes in your garbage. we divert to recycling. The 2006 Census counted 12,160,282 people living in Ontario. Ask yourself about the total impact. That is almost 10 million tonnes of garbage produced yearly in Ontario alone. Could you have done anything differently? 3. The average person throws 1/2 kg of packaging out daily. That’s roughly 180 kg per person a year, in packaging alone! 4. In 2004, the Ontario provincial government set a goal for all Ontario municipalities and Some of info contained within businesses to divert 60% of the Province’s waste. When this goal was set, the diver- was compiled from the sion rate in Ontario was 28%. Our diversion rate in Aylmer for 2006 was 12.9%, an following sources: increase of 0.7% from 2004. St. Thomas using a 3 stream waste system (recyclable, Green for Life, Gill Deacon organics and garbage) had a 65% diversion record in 2000. Don’t you think given the www.aylmer.ca fact that 80% of what is in our garbage shouldn’t be there, we could at least do bet- ter than a lousy 12.9%? www.p2pays.org GRASSROOTS WEEK #2 - The lifecycle of your garbage - from manufacturing to landfill YOUR GARBAGE – STEP-BY-STEP With ideas to reduce end result garbage. OTHER IDEAS #1. Your product is manufactured/grown • CONSUME LESS - Ask yourself - am I replacing an item I could have repaired? Do I need it? Can I get it secondhand? Can I borrow or rent it? • Choose products that are made by companies that promote sustainable manufacturing • Buy things that last #2. It is packaged for transportation • Choose products with less packaging or are packaged in material that is biodegradable • Choose products packaged in recyclable material (If plastic #1 and #2 only) • Bring your own reusable containers • Buy in bulk #3. It is shipped to the location where you will purchase it • Buy local whenever possible • First Aylmer, then surrounding area, then Ontario, then Canada, then USA, then foreign #4. You get yourself to the store to buy it and home again • Use human power for trips less than 1-2 km or more if you are able. Walk, bike, rollerblade. • Trip chain - plan your day and organize your errands to do then logistically. #5. You dispose of it in one of the following ways... a) Regular garbage stream - Ours is landfilled at Greenlane (owned by the City of Toronto. No methane capture as of yet, but plans are in the works.) • Divert into recycling, reusing, composting, hazardous waste, all items that are not Green Thoughts supposed to be in regular garbage stream “How wonderful it is that • What about bag tags? nobody need wait a single b) Reuse - Find a new use, donate to secondhand store, give it away c) Recycle - more on June 24th moment before starting to d) Compost - more on July 8th improve the world.” e) Proper disposal of hazardous waste - more in October Anne Frank FINAL THOUGHT... What do you think of having Aylmer participate in Waste Reduction Week – Oct. 19-25, 2008?