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First zero-waste Ribfest in Northumberland achieves 70% waste diversion

Posted on Monday October 01, 2018
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Cobourg, ON – October 1, 2018 – 4,100 kilograms of corn cobs, rib bones, paper straws, wooden forks, napkins and other items were successfully diverted from the landfill during this year’s first-ever zero-waste Ribfest. The Cobourg event, which previously had a diversion rate of 10%, was modified this summer to dramatically reduce the amount of waste headed for the landfill. Northumberland County and the Rotary Club of Cobourg have announced that the result of this effort was a whopping 70% diversion rate.

“We are thrilled that this collaboration proved to be such a great success,” states County Director of Transportation and Waste Mo Pannu. “By offering waste sorting stations and requiring vendors to use only recyclable or compostable utensils, we were able to divert the equivalent of over 200 bags of trash that otherwise would have ended up in the landfill.”

As part of this initiative, all organic waste was sent to SusGlobal Energy Belleville to be composted, and all recyclable materials such as bottles, cans, and cups were processed at the Northumberland County Material Recovery Facility in Grafton. The small amount of remaining waste was sent to landfill.

“This initiative is a great example of the amount of waste that we can keep out of the landfill when we work together as a community,” states County Chief Administrative Officer Jennifer Moore. “Thanks to the success of the event, the Rotary Club of Cobourg has committed to continuing the zero-waste initiative at Northumberland Ribfest in future years. The County will also continue to advance diversion efforts throughout Northumberland with the introduction of two-stream recycling and a residential green bin organics program in the fall of 2019.”

The green bin program will accept all residential food waste for collection and conversion into a valuable resource such as compost. The proper disposal of residential organics will reduce the amount of organic waste in our landfill, performing an instrumental role in extending the lifespan of the Brighton Landfill. Diversion efforts such as the zero-waste Ribfest initiative align with the County’s long-term goal of achieving 75% diversion county-wide.

For more information about Northumberland County’s Long-Term Waste Management Master Plan, visit NorthumberlandCounty.ca/WasteMasterPlan.

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