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Waste Strategy and Initiatives

Waste Diversion Strategy

The Waste Diversion Strategy aims to map the strategies used to expand and enhance participation in local recycling and waste reduction initiatives and ultimately to divert more waste from the City of North Bay landfill. The City has implemented bans on the collection and landfill disposal of corrugated cardboard, electronics, appliances, tires, grass clippings, household hazardous waste, textiles and mattresses in an attempt to divert as much waste as possible from the Landfill. Over the coming years, the vision for waste diversion in the City of North Bay involves the implementation of a robust and conscientious system that encourages the participation of environmental interest partners, private industry, government, and local residents. 

The  City's current waste diversion programs have five central and constant goals:

  1. Increase program participation by those eligible to receive the service.
  2. Expand the scope of eligibility to more users.
  3. Decrease contaminants (non-recyclables) in the recycling stream.
  4. Provide diversion solutions for more types of waste products; and
  5. Reduce the amount of material entering the local waste stream

Waste Diversion Initiativies

When waste decomposes, Landfill Gas is produced, which is comprised mainly of methane. The methane capture system produces enough electricity to power 1,000-1,300 homes per year. This process reduces the landfill’s methane gas emissions and generates revenue by selling this electricity to the power grid.

As part of North Bay’s Mattress Recycling Program truckloads of mattresses and box springs are shipped out for processing each year. Merrick Landfill sends all mattresses and box springs to Ontario Mattress Recycling (OMR) in Barrie, where 95% of each piece can be recycled into other products. The program has diverted approximately 20,000 mattresses from the City’s landfill site since its inception. The creation of the mattress recycling program was prompted by a Council presentation in 2016 by a FIRST Lego robotics team which found that an estimated 100 mattresses, were going to the landfill each month. A fee per piece is collected to offset the cost of the program, including shipping and processing.

Good quality household products such as paint, stains, varnishes, and cleaners can be picked up by residents, at the Household Hazardous Waste Depot on Patton Street, free of charge. In 2021, 120,086 kg of paint products were collected at our Household Hazardous Waste Depot to be recycled.

The Household Hazardous Waste Depot is located at 112 Patton Street. Residents can take hazardous products, leaf and yard waste, electronics, and scrap metal. The HHWD has collected and shipped out thousands of tonnes of hazardous waste over its 22 years of operation. In 2021 the HHW Depot collected 11,321 kg of household batteries to be recycled. 46,425 L of waste oil was also collected at the facility. 

The Organic Drop-off, open between April and November is located at 112 Patton Street where residents can drop off flower clippings, grass clippings, and leaf waste free of charge. In 2021, 916 Metric Tonnes of Leaf and Yard waste was collected and turned into compost which is then sold to the public at a very low cost.

E-waste is the fastest-growing source of waste in North America. Computer equipment, phones, televisions, stereos, and small home appliances. These products can be brought to the hazardous waste depot for proper recycling. 133 Metric Tonnes of Electronics were collected at our Household Hazardous Waste Depot to be recycled in 2021.

The City of North Bay's curbside blue box program diverted 3092.60 tonnes of material from the landfill in 2021. 445 Metric Tonnes of assorted plastics were collected as well as 1,562 Metric Tonnes of Cardboard were collected as part of our blue box program to be recycled.

Scrap Metal is collected at the 112 Patton Street facility. In 2021, 294 Metric Tonnes of Scrap Metal was collected to be recycled.

The City of North Bay partnered with Canadore College's School of Environmental Studies in 2022 to complete a waste audit. The focus of the audit was residential curbside waste. Despite the many waste diversion programs, it showed that 60% of the audited waste could have been kept out of the landfill using one of our diversion programs.