‘Sustainable Orillia’ is a network of citizens committed to improving the quality of life, the health and wellness, and the environment in our community. Mandated and supported by the Mayor and Council, the Sustainable Orillia task force provides an overarching framework for programs and partnerships that target more sustainable practices across nine critical sectors.
There is a sense of urgency in our work—a shared passion to make positive, measurable differences… starting now! Sustainable Orillia develops and coordinates local initiatives that support a more sustainable way of life for today and the future. Sustainable Orillia is anchored in community engagement: we need ideas, people, and passion to help implement the behavioural changes required to stop the erosion of our environment.
Sustainable Orillia is focused on enabling those changes that we can all make for the better—big and small. Whether it’s buying local or cycling to work; whether its reducing our reliance on plastics or planting more trees; whether it’s local businesses reducing waste or using more local products; or whether it’s reading, learning and sharing more about how each of us can help foster greater sustainability—it all matters. Small, individual changes add up and create momentum towards a better, healthier future for ourselves, our children, and the generations to come.
Sustainable Orillia is your local hub for ideas, learning, tips, and participation in making our lives here in Orillia more sustainable.
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead (Anthropologist)
Because the world’s national and state level sustainability plans are currently insufficient and inconsistent and this is a collective problem that demands collective solutions, local initiatives are necessary. With the Mayor’s encouragement, many concerned individuals and groups within our community have consolidated their efforts, working to develop the concepts, strategies and plans for a “made in Orillia” grass roots movement under the banner of Sustainable Orillia. Sustainable Orillia is our local response to mitigating adverse changes to our community.
In response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the City of Orillia recently announced that citizens would be able to put out one garbage bag each week without a tag—recognition that households that now have families at home will be eating more together and therefore producing somewhat more waste within the home.
Sustainable Orillia would like to urge citizens to pause—before using that extra garbage bag—to first consider whether your family is doing all it can to divert materials from the waste stream. Don’t forget “reduce, repair and re-use” to start with. Our Tip of the Week this week is a reminder of what can be recycled and what can be composted—and a reminder, too, that only materials that cannot be recycled or composted should go into a garbage bag. (Lists below are based on City of Orillia online sources.)
A further tip. In thinking about this, why not involve everyone in the family, including the kids? Create a game (“Spot the Recyclable?” or “Save the Compostable?”) Find one online: https://www.pinterest.ca/pin/453596993697317187/ or https://www.turtlediary.com/game/recycling-waste.html For city programs to work well, everyone in the family has to participate.
RECYCLING NOTE: For your family to recycle effectively, your home should have two blue boxes—one for paper and one for containers. Now for the contents:
PAPER: newspapers, phone books and catalogues, magazines and junk mail, wrapping paper (no foil), office paper, envelopes (without windows), paperback books, cereal boxes (flatten), paper egg cartons, small pieces of cardboard, paper towel and toilet rolls, empty paper cups, empty cigarette packages. IN ADDITION: place Styrofoam packaging and trays in a bag and put in bin. ANOTHER REALLY IMPORTANT ADDITION: place plastic shopping bags, milk bags and bread bags (clean and empty) in another bag, tie at top, and drop it, also, into this blue box.
CONTAINERS: milk and juice cartons (rinse first), drinking boxes (empty), food and beverage cans, clean foil and trays, empty paint cans (<4L), empty aerosol cans, frozen juice cans, all plastic containers with caps on (codes 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7), plastic tubs and lids, yogurt containers, empty plastic (clamshell)
food trays, glass bottles and jars. Remember that rinsing to remove food or juice remnants is necessary.
The City of Orillia is doing a great job in removing a large quantity of items from the waste stream through the recycling and composting programs, but they only work if its citizens—all of us—do their part in the process.
COMPOSTING requires every household to have at least one green bin (see note below re how to get one or more). Again, the list of items for the green bin is long.
COMPOST the following: cooked meat, chicken, fish and bones (to clarify: raw meat trimmings and meat in small quantities gone bad can also be disposed of in the green bin, but raw meats can, of course, cause odor problems—thus the City’s focus on “cooked”), dairy products (no meat or dairy packaging, please), soiled paper towels, tissues, paper food packaging, waxed paper, plants, dryer lint, eggs and eggshells, fruits and vegetables, corn cobs and husks, nuts and shells, coffee filters and grounds, tea bags, salads and dressings, rice and pasta (cooked or uncooked).
To reduce moisture and smell, wrap food scraps in two or three layers of newspaper or use certified compostable bags in your kitchen. If using bags, tie tops before placing in the larger green bin for collection. (Correction: an earlier Sustainable Orillia Tip of the Week said that “biodegradable plastics” or “compostable plastic” could be dropped into the city’s composting bins. Note that acceptable bags must say “certified compostable” to be accepted by the City for composting.)
If all of the above items are placed in the correct recycling box or composting bin, what is really left behind to put into a garbage bag? Not much.
Need a Recycling Box or Green Bin?
In normal circumstances, Orillia residents and businesses can get a Recycling Box and a Green Bin at the Waste Diversion Site located at 100 Kitchener St. Recycling boxes can be purchased for $5 each (both regular and large size). Green Bins can be purchased for the subsidized price of $15. Smaller kitchen organics containers can be purchased for $2 each. Broken Recycling Boxes, Green Bins, or kitchen containers are exchanged free of charge. New residents can receive up to two Recycling Boxes, one Green Bin, and one kitchen container at no charge. Photo ID is required. New residents that are renting must show proof of a new rental agreement with photo ID. Otherwise, they can purchase the bins at the applicable rates.
Right now the Diversion Site is closed to the public. If you don’t have a blue box, place recyclables in a clear plastic bag on pickup day. If without a compost Green Bin, place compostables in a cardboard box or container labeled “kitchen/yard waste.” If new in town, consider a call to the Waste Diversion Site at 705-325-3522. They’ll try to help.