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Green Corner: High Rise Waste Diversion Pilot Yields Positive Results
A pilot program aimed at reducing waste and use of organics in a high-rise at 215
Nepean Street has produced impressive results – reducing waste by 40 percent in
the first two months.
The pilot at 215 Nepean was the first building to remove the garbage chute and include
compost bins. In December, the garbage room was overhauled. The retrofit meant
the chute room was closed off. The garbage room was then painted to indicate
where residents should put their fibre, recycling, compost, and garbage.
To facilitate change, OCH, EnviroCentre and the City worked to increase recycling
pickup at the site. Thanks to the partnerships, and tenant outreach, this has
resulted in an increase of fibre recycling by three times the amount prior to
the garbage room makeover. Glass, metal, and plastic recycling was increased by
Prior to the physical changes to the building, EnviroCentre consultants completed 14
in-person outreach events, including handing out “kitchen catchers” for compost
and recycling bags.
Their “waste ambassadors” interacted with residents and conducted surveys before the changes to the building, to determine what the barriers were and what questions
residents had. Over the course of the project, ambassadors tracked nearly 200
in-person engagements to encourage waste diversion.
“These results are very encouraging,” said Dan Dicaire, Manager of Conservation and
Sustainability at OCH. “This investment in reducing waste is working so well
because so many moving parts came together to improve the lives of tenants and
reduce OCH’s ecological footprint.”