Hamilton, Ontario Green Cart Program
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Why we need a Green Cart Program now and how it works
Our City is starting the Green Cart Program because we're running out of space for our garbage. In order to maximize the amount of space we have left in our one-and-only operating landfill site, innovative solutions must be implemented.
The Green Cart Program is the right choice. By making better decisions about how you get rid of your waste you are helping protect the environment (remember the composition of the waste isn't changing, you're just using different containers to put it in). The Green Cart Program has the potential to divert 43% of the current waste going to landfill, another 42% of household waste is recyclable in your blue boxes, so only 15% is truly garbage!
We've set an aggressive target of 65% waste diversion from landfill by 2008. We can only do this with your help, which includes participation in the Green Cart Program. In order to help us achieve the 65% diversion goal, 9 out of every 10 residents must recycle 9 out of every 10 pop cans AND 9 out of every 10 residents must compost 9 out of every 10 banana peels.
The Green Cart Program collects household organic waste separate from Blue Box recyclables and garbage.
A Green cart is a large green, rigid plastic cart with wheels that you put your household organic waste in. It is collected at your curb weekly.
A mini bin is a small plastic container with a snap-lock lid to use in your kitchen to collect food scraps on a daily basis. This container should be emptied into your larger green cart that you roll out to the curb for collection each week.
All single family residential dwellings (with up to five legal units) in Hamilton will get a green cart. Start filling your green cart as soon as you receive it. Check the What Goes In list to see what you can put in. The City will not be accepting any plastic, glass, metal, diapers, pet waste (including kitty litter) or sanitary products in the Green Cart Program.
During April and May 2006, watch for the Green Team in a neighbourhood near you. They are going door to door to answer your questions and help you with any concerns you may have.
Green carts will be collected on your regularly scheduled waste collection day along with your Blue Box recyclables and garbage. Place your green cart at the curb by 7:00 am on your regularly scheduled waste collection day. View here for your Waste Collection Calendar. Your green cart does not have to be set out for collection each week - every two weeks or once a month is okay. It's up to you! However, it is important to keep in mind that emptying your cart often will greatly reduce the potential for odours.
Organic waste is collected in special 'split body' trucks that have a cart tipper to lift and empty your green cart. These trucks collect green carts and garbage at the same time. A wall inside the truck keeps organic waste separate from the garbage so that they don't get mixed up. Each side of the truck is emptied at different places in order to keep the materials separate.
After it's collected, green cart material is taken to the City's Central Composting Facility (CCF) in Hamilton. An aerobic process is used to turn the materials into compost that can be used for landscaping, gardening, potting soil, etc.
Given that there's little space left for our garbage and given that no one has offered their backyard to build another landfill site, the situation facing our City is critical. It is, therefore, critical that you continue to do all you can to reduce waste at the source, reuse what you can and recycle all containers and paper. With the introduction of the Green Cart Program to Hamilton, we're thrilled to assist residents in meeting our 65% waste diversion target by 2008 so that we can enjoy a better, healthier and more sustainable community. Thank you!