Take Action Burlington: An Update on Our Local Environment – Waste

BurlingtonGreen Youth Cleaning Up
BurlingtonGreen youth participating in a clean-up event. Image courtesy of BurlingtonGreen.

Earlier this summer, City of Burlington sustainability staff presented Take Action Burlington – An Update on Our Local Environment to Council. This report provides an overview on the state of Burlington’s environment including information on local sustainability efforts and actions that can be taken. This is the last in a series of five blog posts about the report.

This post highlights climate change connections, what the city is doing and actions you can take as identified in the “Waste” chapter of the report.

Climate Change Connections

Ontarians threw out 9.5 million tonnes of waste in 2016. That works out to be 678 kg of waste per person. Waste contributes to greenhouse gas emissions through:

  • Product development, production and transportation
  • Use of product
  • End of life disposal process

What Are We Doing?

Residential Waste Management

  • The weight of landfill waste disposed at the Halton Region Waste Management Site has decreased every year since 2008, even with population growth. This is due to enhanced recycling and composting options and the use of lighter weight products like plastics.
  • Although the volume of recycled material is increasing, the diversion rate, based on weight, remains relatively consistent, ranging between 56.4 and 59 per cent.
Aerial image of Halton Region Waste Management Site
Halton Region Waste Management Site. Image courtesy of Halton Region.

City of Burlington Towards Zero Waste Strategy for City-Owned Buildings

In 2009, the City introduced a “Towards Zero Waste Strategy” for city-owned buildings in partnership with Halton Region:

  • Centralized waste stations with Blue Boxes, Green Carts and garbage were added in most city buildings.
  • Over 29 tonnes of household batteries were collected at 15 city facilities between 2009 and 2018.
  • Large, underground, side-by-side recycling/waste stations were installed at major parks near picnic areas and sports fields.
Outdoor large capacity bins in city parks
Outdoor large underground recycling and garbage containers at major city parks.

Annual Community Clean-Up

  • The City of Burlington partners with BurlingtonGreen on annual ‘Clean Up Green Up’ events.
    • In 2018, 13,911 community members including 42 schools, 52 community groups and 17 businesses participated in the community clean-up.
Burlington Sustainable Development Committee members participate in the 2019 community clean-up event.
Burlington Sustainable Development Committee members participate in the 2019 community clean-up event.

What Can You Do?

  • Bring used electronics to Fire Headquarters – Station No. 1, Fire Station No. 4, and Fire Station No. 7 for proper recycling.
  • End ‘wish cycling.’ Dispose of waste in the right bin. Confused? Use Halton Region’s online tool at halton.ca/waste.
  • Remember, recycling is at the bottom of the options when it comes to reduce-reuse-recycle. Can you repair a broken item? Can your used clothes be donated?
  • Organize a clean-up and receive up to $300 to cover expenses. Learn more at Love My Hood program.
  • Halton Region provides support to green public events and BurlingtonGreen provides services to help sort your waste at events.
BurlingtonGreen volunteers providing their greening service at a local event. Image courtesy of BurlingtonGreen.

This is the last in a series of five blog posts about the Take Action Burlington – An Update on Our Local Environment. Please click on the links to view the online story map, or all previous blog posts (overview, land, air and water).

Take Action Burlington! Collectively we can make a difference.


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