Sustainable Merrickville-Wolford has launched a petition to expand recycling options in the Municipality.
Member of Sustainable Merrickville-Wolford, and long time Merrickville resident, Anney de Gobeo, says she has watched as the items they have been able to recycle in the municipality has dwindled over the years. “It has been a challenge with the number of products we can recycle in Merrickville-Wolford,” she says, highlighting items like poly-coated cartons and black plastics that residents are forced to send to the landfill.
Anney has been in contact with the Municipality about the status of their current contract with Limerick Environmental. She was informed by Deputy Clerk Christina Conklin that they are currently engaged with the company on a month-to-month basis. “This is as a result of the recycling program, which will be changing to a producer-based model in the near future,” she wrote in an email to Anney.
This shift is part of the province’s Made in Ontario Environment Plan, which will make producers responsible for the entire lifecycle of their packaging by December 31, 2025. Anney believes that the Village should not be waiting another five years to look at changing their recycling program, especially when other surrounding municipalities, like North Grenville and Montague, are being proactive in looking at their waste diversion practices. “All of our neighbours are participating, including a small township like Montague,” she says. “It’s embarrassing.”
Anney has found it particularly frustrating because, as the Environmental Advisory Committee has not been able to meet throughout the pandemic, there has been no way to communicate with council. Sustainable Merrickville-Wolford has been getting requests from residents and businesses alike, asking what can be done to expand recycling options in the Municipality. “People are coming to us, desperate for solutions,” Anney says.
Sustainable Merrickville-Wolford founder, Michèle Andrews, says that they would love to see a more robust recycling program, as well as an organics program, in the Municipality. “Part of what the problem is at the landfill, is all the food waste,” she says. “We should be aggressively looking at ways to divert that from our landfill.”
Michèle says Sustainable Merrickville-Wolford would be happy to work with the Environmental Advisory Committee and council to get a more robust recycling program off the ground. “What kind of municipality and community and brand do we want to be?” she asks. “We need to get the ball rolling, and we need that leadership from council.”
The focus of the petition, which had about 100 signatures as of Friday, is to get council to look into options for expanding the recycling program in the Municipality. Anney feels very strongly about pushing council to look at what neighbouring municipalities are doing and seeing what other options are out there for Merrickville-Wolford. “The very least we can do is provide more options,” she says. “It’s not a tall order.”
To sign the petition you can go to www.sustainablemw.org, or you can also find paper copies at Healthily Ever After, or Nana B’s Bakery in Merrickville.