Durham Region: Successful two-stream recycling system: selling to sustainable North American markets

Whitby, Ontario – In today’s increasingly challenging recycling markets, it is more important than ever to keep recyclables as clean as possible to make them a more attractive commodity. Of all the recyclable materials processed by the Region, 95 per cent are sold to sustainable markets within North America, including Canada and the United States. The remaining five per cent are non-recyclable materials that residents put in their blue boxes that are sent for proper disposal.

“What makes Durham Region’s recycling program successful is the fact that we use two blue boxes for recycling—one blue box for paper products and packaging, and a second blue box for metal, plastic and glass containers,” said Craig Bartlett, Manager of Waste Operations. “These two streams lead to less contamination, which means cleaner end-products. The clean end-products are then easier to sell to sustainable markets here in North America, so we don’t have to ship our recyclables across the ocean. Although our recycling system is successful, we are always working hard to improve, and it’s thanks to the efforts of Durham residents’ who support our two-stream system that we are able to succeed.”

For more recycling tips and information, like how to pack and sort your blue boxes, and where to place an item you’re unsure of, visit durham.ca/KnowBeforeYouThrow or download the Durham Region Waste app. To replace your damaged blue boxes free of charge, bring them to the Waste Management Centre at 4600 Garrard Road in Whitby. Some local municipal offices may exchange broken blue boxes. Contact your local area municipality for details, or visit durham.ca/Waste.