It’s Plastic-Free July! What a better way to celebrate in the Town of Newmarket than announcing that we were recently awarded silver for the Annual Blue Box Campaign in the Community Engagement and Outreach Program category from the Municipal Waste Association.
“Congratulations and thank you to Newmarket residents for their continued commitment to environmental sustainability by recycling and diverting waste from landfills,” says Mayor John Taylor. “Our annual blue box campaign serves as a reminder to our residents – who are already doing a great job in waste diversion, to continue their efforts. Together, along with our regional partners, we hope to continue to trend upwards in exceeding our 2022 diversion rate of 65.8%.”
Newmarket’s Blue Box Community Engagement and Education Campaign began in 2019 and continues to focus on raising awareness and educating residents on what is accepted and not accepted within the Town’s curbside blue box program. During this campaign, Town staff visited randomly selected neighbourhoods and conducted visual assessments of curbside blue boxes to see if items were properly disposed of. Residents who were doing well received a ‘good job’ door hanger, and those that needed improvement received a different door hanger indicating which items did not belong in the blue box, as well as helpful waste tips.
During the 2022 program, staff visited approximately 100 households per waste collection day for a total of 1,400 households during a one-month period. Overall, the annual blue box campaign has been very successful and well received from the community. It provides the Town an opportunity to educate residents about the blue box program and to give helpful tips for proper recycling.
In keeping with the theme of Plastic Free July and waste diversion, residents can help the cause further by keeping these 10 tips in mind:
Plastic bags, plastic wrap, and plastic sleeve bags used for newspapers are not accepted in the blue box. Please remove and discard plastic sleeve bags before placing your newspaper in the recycling bin. Consider reusing plastic bags for other uses before throwing them out.
Avoid single-use plastic bottles. Remember to take a reusable water bottle with you when on the go.
Bring reusable produce bags when shopping for fruits and vegetables. Try to avoid pre-packaged items.
When recycling cardboard, remember to flatten and securely tie in bundles (no larger than 36” x 36” x 8”).
Choose to refuse single-use straws. If possible, ask for your drink without a straw or consider bringing your own.
Prevent blue box litter in your neighbourhood by placing heavier items on top of lighter items in your blue box. This should help prevent lighter materials, such as paper, from blowing out of the bin and becoming litter.
Remove all food residue from containers before recycling. Wipe or scrape food residue with a paper towel before placing the item in the blue box. The paper towel can be placed in the green bin.
Recycle your unwanted textiles (cloth items) at a Newmarket facility. Doing so will reduce the need to manufacture new fibres which will save water and energy.
Bring eco-friendly reusable bags when shopping to help reduce the number of bags ending up in the environment and the garbage stream.
Download the Recycle Coach App for all your waste and recycling needs including collection day reminders, program updates, how to properly dispose of items, and more!
For more information on Newmarket’s waste program, visit newmarket.ca/wasteandrecycling