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The ChronicleHerald: Recycling bins getting noticed on Halifax waterfront
Halifax, Nova Scotia -Tourists visiting Halifax’s waterfront see them as such a novelty that they often stop to take a photo.
“People actually do enjoy them. They are kind of interesting,” said Colin MacLean, president and CEO of the Waterfront Development Corp.
“We’ve seen a lot of tourists coming, whether on a cruise ship or otherwise, who stand in front of them and get their photos taken.”
MacLean isn’t talking about sailboats or other Maritime attractions, but 15 new recycling receptacles along the waterfront’s four-kilometre boardwalk.
In September, the corporation got rid of 51 regular garbage containers on the waterfront and replaced them with four-stream bins to handle discarded drink containers, paper, organics and garbage.
The containers, manufactured by BigBelly Solar of Newton, Mass., use solar power to compact their own contents. And soon, they will have sensors that email the Waterfront Development Corp.’s office when they are full.
MacLean said people are using the waterfront recycling bins and using them properly. A recent study showed that recycling rates on the boardwalk are at 95 percent for beverage containers and 83 percent for paper but only at 49 percent for organics.
About 14 tonnes of waste is generated annually along the waterfront, the study found.
Last September, the corporation partnered with Nestle Waters Canada on a recycling pilot project for public spaces. Nestle Waters provided the bulk of funding for the roughly $100,000 three-month project, which included buying 15 receptacles and hiring an environmental consultant to study waste diversion on the waterfront.
Nova Scotia’s Resource Recovery Fund Board also contributed to the project.
Nova Scotia is known as a leader in recycling because of its curbside collection programs. Recycling in public spaces is aimed at capturing “the last mile” of recyclables that consumers abandon on streets and in parks, arenas and other public places.
MacLean said the Waterfront Development Corp. has now permanently adopted the recycling program on the boardwalk.
“We want to see this adopted as a permanent program across the province of Nova Scotia,” said John Challinor, director of corporate affairs with Nestle Waters Canada in Guelph, Ont.
“(Governments) have to make their decisions based on science. It can’t be based on ‘feel good,’ and so that’s the reason we went to the effort of hiring an environmental consultant.”
The beverage industry established the first recycling program for public spaces last April in Manitoba. Similar pilot projects have been carried out recently in Quebec and Ontario, and one is planned for British Columbia, Challinor said.
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