Recycling will be out of the District of Muskoka’s hands, starting late next year.
Blue bin services will transition to recycling non-profit Circular Materials (CM) as of July 1 this year, and take full effect on Nov. 19, 2024.
That means the organization will be in charge of getting recyclables back to the companies that produce them, as ordered by provincial legislation.
James Steele, the district’s Commissioner of Engineering and Public Works, says not much will change for residents– how you dispose of waste, whether that’s curbside pickup or depot drop-off, will remain the same.
“What I think from the public’s perspective is they would see the system operating seamlessly,” says Steele. “I don’t want to overstate our ability to do that, but I think we’re committed to serving our residents. So we’re not just handing over the keys and saying ‘it’s up to you.’ I think we’ll continue to work closely with them.”
On Monday, District Council authorized CM to deal directly with waste collection companies, such as Green For Life Environmental (GFL), which currently handles the district’s curbside pickup. Council also signed off on leasing the diversion facility at Rosewarne Landfill to potential waste contractors, to help with shipping those materials back to producers.
According to Steele, producers will take over collection entirely in 2026, and would be able to make changes to waste collection after that. However, he says the public will be well-informed ahead of any changes.
“Communication’s going to be an important aspect of any changes with the waste system,” says Steele. “Certainly it’s very sensitive to members of the public. So we will be collaborating with Circular Materials, regardless of the outcome, to make sure that the messages go out appropriately and that there is a consistent understanding of what’s expected.”