Happy curbside pick up day!
We had such a successful curbside pick up day, and we're seeing a lot of diversion from the on-site dumpster. I've been keeping tabs, and weighing every bag that we put out curbside to see what kind of numbers we are diverting. The two pictures below are (left) the very first week we started this program and (right) today. There was 1 bag of garbage, and 2 bags of recycling put out in the first week. Today we put out 3 bags of garbage, and 12 bags of recyclables!
I have been keeping track of the weight of all the nags that go curbside for our pickup, and wanted to share with you some of the totals so far. We have sorted 161lbs (73.4kg) from our on-site dumpster. We have diverted almost 125lbs (124.8lbs or 56.5kg) of waste from the land-fill! Our blue bin was the most impressive collection point with 71lbs (33.8kg) worth of plastics and recyclables being diverted from the landfill.
After our collection night with Valley Waste Resource Management, our farm workers also had their first curbside collection! The farm workers have bins set up at their houses, and are making tremendous efforts to sort their waste, and use the curbside collection! One of the houses in particular had an incredible small bag of garbage (only about a small Sobey's bag worth), with everything else sorted and ready for curbside or composted!
Terracycle Program - Zero Waste Bins.
One of the main things we have found in our garbage bins that are the most common are blue nitrile gloves that we use for farm safety practices. Unfortunately, there is no way around using them in certain areas on the farm for food safety purposes, and they are a significant source of waste. We also have cigarette butts that are making it into our garbage. Thankfully our staff is very respectful of where there cigarette butts end up, however we wanted to avoid them being in the garbages to avoid a fire hazard. Neither gloves or cigarette butts are recyclable in regular waste streams, so I branched out and found the Terracycle boxes for the office.
The cigarette receptacle from Terracycle is a $0 program. We pay a 1 time fee for the receptacle, and then send all our butts and ashes in when the receptacle is full, free of charge. The cigarette butts then are processed and remade into things such as park benches, gardening supplies, reusable bags, etc. Terracycle also has a points program that we have enrolled in. For every shipment we make over 3lbs, we get $1 per pound to donate. We will be looking more into that as we figure out how much we are creating to return to Terracycle.
The second, and the one I'm most excited for, is the nitrile glove box. It surprised me that they were not recyclable! We go through so many of them, and it's impossible to replace them with a recyclable alternative due to our safety regulations. We are creating portable hand-washing stations (and I will update on those when we get them) for the field that are going to be replacing some other non-recyclable waste, however we needed something for the gloves! Enter the Zero-Waste Nitrile glove recycling box!
This program works similar to the cigarette collection receptacle, except that we will need to purchase more boxes. We are trying a small collection box first to see how long that lasts us, and then depending on how frequently we are filling it, may upgrade to a bigger box. Much like the cigarette receptacle, the box is sent back to Terracycle where the gloves are pelletized, and made into similar products as the waste from the cigarette collection receptacle.
We have all these things and a few more exciting things to come! I will update everyone when we get some more things in the works, and keep a tab of how much we have diverted from the landfill as time goes on!
Thank you so much!
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