The City of Peterborough’s Environment Day is coming up this weekend on Saturday, May 14th from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. This year, Environment Day is being held at 791 Webber Avenue.
Environment Day is an event that allows you to dispose of certain large items that are no longer usable or fixable, including scrap metal, hard cover books, and electronics. New this year, you can also dispose of child car seats. Vinyl records, video and audio tapes, and DVDs/CDs will also be accepted.
Many unusable household items need to be properly disposed of to ensure that chemicals, heavy metals, and harmful materials do not end up leaching into our soils. Proper disposal also reduces the chance of explosions or fires, and prevents toxic and corrosive substances from ending up in our water.
While Environment Day focuses on providing free disposal of large items, you may have ongoing questions about how to dispose of other things. Can I recycle this tin foil? Can coffee grounds go in my composter?
If you have a question about how to recycle something, check out the new City of Peterborough ‘What Goes Where’ search engine tool at www.peterborough.ca/waste. You can search from a list of over 10,000 items to find out how to properly dispose of or recycle them.
In Peterborough, the Blue Box program started in 1988. What can be recycled in Peterborough has changed over the years based on the resale demand for the recycled item and the processing equipment at our local recycling facility.
It’s important to stay up-to-date on what items can go in the blue box.
Currently, recycling is organized into two streams in Peterborough: paper & film plastic, and containers. When getting your blue boxes ready for the curb, you will want to divide your recycling into these two categories. Firstly, all containers should be rinsed and placed loosely together into one bin. Paper and plastics go into a second blue box with the film plastics separated out in their own bag.
Placing items in their proper disposal streams helps to optimize processing and prevents contamination of the products generated from recycled items. For instance, while disposable coffee cups are recyclable in the paper stream, the plastic lids are not recyclable and must be placed in the garbage.
In Peterborough, a coffee cup lid placed in the recycling bin is impossible to grab off the conveyor line at the recycling depot and ends up getting mixed in with recyclable materials. In some cases when lids remain attached to cups, they get mixed in with the paper stream and contaminate the recycled cup paper, which is then not usable. When we recycle properly, it helps to save the life of our landfill and reduces the need for manufacturing new resources.
A few lesser-known recycling tips:
- Recyclable items are actually banned from the garbage and cannot go to the landfill
- Broken blue boxes can be exchanged for a new free one at City Hall or at the 390 Pido Road recycling facility
- There is no limit to the number of blue boxes you can set out for collection each week
- Sorry, but you cannot recycle straws, plastic cutlery, chip bags, cheese wrappers, cling wrap, coffee cup lids, or Styrofoam: these must all go in the garbage.
Not all items can go into the landfill and some need to be carefully disposed of outside of the Blue Box program. For these items, Environment Day offers you the convenience of dropping off multiple large items at one location and provides extra services of paper shredding.
At Environment Day, the city will also be offering special pricing on blue boxes and composters. So, once you unload your unwanted and broken stuff, you can stock up the car with items that will help you to reduce your waste and consumption throughout the year.
GreenUP Store and Resource Centre will also be onsite selling locally sourced, repurposed olive barrels that have been retrofitted as rain barrels. They are made from food-grade materials for safe use on your vegetable garden. Peterborough Utilities customers will receive a $25 rebate with the purchase of a GreenUP Rain Barrel.
To learn more about the two recycling streams and the items accepted in each, and to find out more about Environment Day, connect with www.peterborough.ca/waste.