/Waste wizardry

Waste wizardry

By Chad Ingram
This column is about a digital application for waste disposal and recycling, which is a lot cooler than it sounds. 
their meeting last week, Algonquin Highlands councillors were given a
demonstration of the Waste Wizard, an app the township will host on its
website and which will assist residents with their waste disposal
Hang on, it does get interesting, I swear. 
residents are unsure what to do about getting rid of a particular item,
they can search for that item within the application and receive
instructions. There’s an inventory of hundreds and hundreds of items on
the app. The interesting part is that the app also provides, let’s call
it advice, about reducing the amount of waste one produces. 
the material is something that can’t be recycled, the application
provides suggestions for more environmentally sustainable options. Also,
if the items are things that could be used by someone else, say
clothing or furniture, it provides local locations where such items can
be donated, rather than taking up space in the township’s landfill
See? That’s the cool part. 
the app should help to improve residents’ purchasing, recycling and
reuse habits, which should in theory lead to increased diversion of
waste from landfills, which should in turn contribute to lengthening the
remaining lifespan estimates for those landfills. 
and waste disposal are and will continue to be one of the biggest
challenges for Haliburton County’s local governments. There have  been a
number of stories lately about the increasing cost of recycling as
markets for recyclable materials crash. Within the county, lifespans for
its existing landfills are in most cases down to a number of decades. 
continued improvement of sustainable production methods, recycling
technologies, the introduction of  legislation to make producers
responsible for end-of-life care of their products, and improved
behaviours can help to actually lengthen the lifespan of these
facilities, the reality is within the next generation or two, the issue
of waste disposal is going to come to a head in Haliburton County.
Creating new landfills is an incredibly complicated, cumbersome and
expensive process, so when the existing landfills reach capacity, that
may means solutions such as trucking waste out of the community to
incinerators in the GTA, which will also be incredibly expensive. 
Highlands and Highlands East councils have partnered on the purchase of
the app, the cost for which is about $3,000 per year, split between the
two municipalities. This is a nominal amount of money for any municipal
government, and one that could potentially yield large environmental

Minden Hills and Dysart et al should also consider using the application.