Bracebridge councillor Chris Wilson has put forward an idea that would see residents unwanted but still useable items at the curb of their driveway for anyone to take for free.
“It’s basically a waste diverson program,” he explains.
The “Treasure Hunt Waste Diversion Program” is done in Orillia. It recently returned after a two-year hiatus because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program sees the unwanted items left on the curb after 5 PM on the Friday of the event weekend and removed by 11 PM Sunday. All of the items are claimed in as-is condition.
The city has already held three treasure hunts with another three scheduled between August and October.
Wilson says if the program happens in Bracebridge it will serve a duel purpose: it will divert waste and help people in need who may have a need for one or more of the unwanted items.
While he wanted to push the program forward as a Bracebridge-led initiative, Wilson says Bracebridge Cheif Administrative Official Stephen Rettie told him it would need be handled by the District of Muskoka. The idea was subsequently passed by Bracebridge’s General Committee and ratified at the town’s recent council meeting. District staff will now review the feasibility of implementing the program and report back to council. The idea will also be passed along to the five other municipalities in Muskoka, so it’s possible this could become a Muskoka-wide program.
Mayor Rick Maloney pointed out that there is an “urgent” need to divert waste from the Rosewarne Landfill. He believes this program would work nicely with the district and town’s goals to keep waste away from the landfill. He added that, if approved, this could help extend the life of the landfill site.