Not all countries are as fortunate as Canada when it comes to waste management. We have the space, finances, and resources to manage waste in many forms. However, we’re far from perfect. Despite being leaps ahead of waste management in third-world countries, Canada isn’t always regarded well on the environmental front. We recently ranked 17th out of 17 countries for municipal waste generation. Our country is also part of the problem when it comes to waste exporting. How can we improve this beautiful country? How can we improve our global reputation as environmental leaders? Here’s are some of the ways the average Canadian can learn from the top waste management services.
Canada’s Top Waste Management Services
When you think of waste, you likely think about the trash bag in your kitchen and the bottles in your recycling bin. Yes, those are certainly major components of the waste management industry. However, there are many other forms of waste we produce as Canadians. They include:
- Organic waste
- Medical/clinical waste
- Electrical waste
- Construction debris
- Hazardous materials
What’s considered a “hazardous material”? These are materials that are unregulated by the federal government of Canada. They’re generally difficult to dispose of because of the threat they pose to public health. Hazardous materials include some pharmaceuticals, aerosol cans, paints, solvents, and mercury. Some of these materials would never be found in your home; however, others might be. It’s likely that most Canadians aren’t aware of the impact of their waste, so they mix hazardous waste with their non-hazardous waste.
We offer both public and private waste management services in Ontario. In Toronto alone, there are dozens of different private companies competing to dispose of your residential and commercial waste.
One of the most exciting and promising waste management services to be offered in Canada is waste to energy services. Countries in Europe- most notably the Netherlands- have taken advantage of the reduced energy costs that come along with using waste for energy. We currently have 44 waste to energy companies in Canada that are paving the way for sustainability. In general, these companies incinerate waste to convert it into thermal energy, which is then transformed into electrical power. With the soaring costs of electricity in Canada, especially in Toronto, having a new source of energy is game-changing.
What Can You Learn from Waste Management Services?
There are over 2400 active landfills in Canada with its largest dump in Toronto, just north of Vaughan. Our options for disposing of waste are slowly getting fewer, and our perception of recycling a little hazy. As landfills get fuller and other countries close their doors to our waste, it’s clear we need to make a change. But what kind of changes? What can the average Canadian do?
1. Reduce and Reuse
Waste in landfills comes from all different sources, not just residential homes. However, you can reduce the amount that comes from average Canadians by shopping consciously. When you go grocery shopping, consider the packaging of the items you buy. You likely know about reusable grocery bags and bulk bags to transfer your food in. Also consider the amount of packaging on other items, like cold cuts, pre-cut produce, crackers, and more. When possible, buy these items without packaging from a farmer’s market or bulk food store where you can bring your own containers.
If you need something that always comes in packaging, like yogurt, consider the ways you can reuse it. Plastic containers can make great plant pots; simply poke holes in the bottom for drainage and place in whatever decorate planter you wish. If you buy a bag of tortilla chips, cut it up when the chips are done to use as plastic-wrap with tape. These are creative, albeit unconventional, ways to reuse the waste you have instead of disposing of it.
2. Compost Your Organics
Waste management in Toronto is touted as one of the best in the country. It has done an excellent job of introducing the green bin system. We have an easy and convenient solution to organic waste: put it in the bin, and our public waste management service comes to pick it up weekly. The only challenge is rewriting our old habits. For decades, we’ve been throwing eggshells and potato skins in the garbage. It’s important to introduce the concept of a green bin young so that future Canadians grow up with this habit. As for the rest of us, keep a list of compostable items in your kitchen. Here are some of the things that people often forget to compost: animal waste, bedding, and litter; houseplants and soil; diapers and sanitary products; paper food packaging; paper towels and napkins unless they’ve been used for chemical cleaning.
For the waste items that can’t be composted, be sure to sort it accurately. Electrical waste shouldn’t get thrown in the black trash bag. It needs to be set out on the curb on designated electrical waste pickup days by the public waste removal service. Or, you need to find a private service to come pick up your e-waste. If you have hazardous items, never pour them down the drain or throw them in the garbage. It’s crucial we avoid hazardous materials getting into our groundwater and polluting our clean water. Locate a disposal depot near you to drop it off at.
3. Recycle and Support Businesses That Recycle
Consumers hold all the power when it comes to businesses’ ethics and practices. If you don’t agree with a non-environmental practice that a business has, don’t support them with your money. Some of the things you can consider before you buy is if the company recycles and composts their waste. Do they offer eco-friendly products in the washrooms? Do they opt for digital receipts instead of paper? These may be small factors, but combined, they create a company that’s passionate about the future of the planet.
If you’re a business owner, consider the different ways you can reduce your waste. Should you hire a private waste removal company to handle your excessive amount of waste? Or, could you do some of the recycling onsite? Many companies and commercial buildings are opting to recycle their materials in-house instead of waiting for weekly pickup. To do this, they purchase a baler and sometimes even a sorting machine. Not only does this reduce the waste you need picked up because it’s more compact, it can save your business money. Plus, customers will be happy to hear you’re taking steps to be more environmentally-friendly.
Baleforce is dedicated to finding solutions to the environmental problems facing Canadians. We know that recycling is a huge factor in improving our waste management. As a full-service distributor, we sell used and new recycling equipment as well as providing a 24-hour emergency service. You can save time, money, and the planet by recycling.
Learn more about in-house recycling equipment by sending us a message or calling us today: 416-235-1900.