Muskoka is changing its waste management system to avoid running out of landfill space. A report to Council yesterday indicated that the Rosewarne Landfill would reach capacity by 2036.

Currently, Muskoka only diverts 35 per cent of material away from landfill, with top-performing municipalities in Ontario averaging more than 60 per cent. Muskoka Lakes Mayor and District Councilman Phil Harding says there’s a few areas that need improvement.

“Our organics programs are strictly geared towards the urban centres, and we know that Muskoka is very much a rural municipality, so we need to do a better job of expanding organics to the rural areas,” Harding says. “We also need to make sure that our property owners recycle.”

To achieve this, the District’s waste management report proposes changes such as:

  • expanding organics collection to all waste drop-off facilities
  • switching to clear garbage bags, making it easier to refuse bags containing recyclables and other prohibited items
  • limiting curbside garbage collection and drop-off at facilities to one free bag per week each
  • supervising all waste drop-off facilities

According to Harding, the District is currently working out the costs of these changes, and that new waste management measures could be in place as early as January 2022. He says that the time to act is limited.

“The scary part of our recycling and our landfill right now, my grandson who is two and a half years of age, before he goes to university, we potentially will fill up our landfill,” says Harding. “It seems like 2036 is a long way out, but it really isn’t that far out.”