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Residents urged to properly dispose of their organic waste

By Ian McInroy, Barrie Examiner

Willma Bureau, Simcoe County’s contract and collections supervisor, is hoping residents using county waste collection take part in the #GreenBinToWin contest.

Willma Bureau, Simcoe County’s contract and collections supervisor, is hoping residents using county waste collection take part in the #GreenBinToWin contest. MARK WANZEL FILE PHOTO

Feed your green bin, not your garbage.

Simcoe County residents are being encouraged to dispose of their organic waste where it belongs: in the green bin, and not in regular garbage pickup.

To that end, the county has launched its #GreenBinToWin contest, running until Aug. 21.

The social-media contest offers green-bin users a chance to win prize packs and a grand prize consisting of a weekend for two adults and two children at Fern Resort.

Simcoe County’s director of solid waste management, Rob McCullough said the county has one of the province’s best recycling rates.

“We are looking for innovative ways to ensure our organics program, which is even more environmentally beneficial, can be just as successful,” he said. “The intent of the #GreenBinToWin contest is to encourage greater participation in the county’s green-bin program and raise awareness about proper waste management techniques.“

The contest is only open to county residents, and not those living in the separated cities of Barrie and Orillia, which have their own waste collection programs.

A summer student with support from staff in solid waste management will be touring neighbourhoods throughout the county over the course of the summer, according to Willma Bureau, the county’s contract and collections supervisor.

“Friendly letters offering advice and tips will be left in mailboxes of residents who both participate and don’t,” she said. “Staff will also be able to speak with individuals and provide feedback on specific observations such as the need to use compostable bags as opposed to plastic.

“The social aspect of the contest allows green-bin users to share their successes and tips with their friends and family.”

Bureau said studies indicate 65% of Simcoe County residents use their green bin, but that 40% of the materials being placed in the garbage should instead be put in green bins.

In addition to all food scraps, other common items that should be added as snacks for your green bin include tissues, coffee cups (not lids), paper materials contaminated with food such as paper plates or used pizza boxes, paper towels/napkins, wax paper, small wooden items contaminated with food such as stir sticks and plants.

For full contest rules, information and eligibility requirements, visit:


- Using the green bin reduces greenhouse gas production. Methane is emitted during the decomposition of organics in the landfill. Methane is a greenhouse gas which is 25 times more harmful than carbon dioxide.

- Green bin material in the landfill contributes to the production of leachate, formed when water comes into contact with buried waste and can negatively affect groundwater.

- Removing green bin material from the garbage saves disposal capacity for other materials which cannot be diverted and saving space now avoids increased costs to manage your waste in the future.  In the long term, using the green bin means less need for landfills. 

- Once collected, green bin materials are processed into compost, a natural soil amendment which is healthy for the environment and can help to reverse climate change.