The Wet/Dry Source Separation Program is an easy way for residents to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill by composting and recycling.
Residents sort their waste at home into two categories: WET and DRY. WET waste is placed in green transparent bags and DRY waste in blue transparent bags, all of which are placed at the curb on your regular garbage collection day. The sorted waste is then collected and transported to the Westmorland-Albert Solid Waste Corporation’s Waste Management Facility for processing.
2. What is WET waste?
WET waste is mostly made up of compostable materials, but also includes soiled or sanitary items. Anything that could contaminate your DRY waste should be placed in your WET bag. Some examples include meat and bones, table scraps, fruit and vegetable peels, paper towel and tissues, diapers, sanitary pads and other hygiene products.
3. What is DRY waste?
DRY waste consists of household waste that is not WET waste, and includes both recyclables and non-recyclable materials. Some examples include bottles, packaging, clothing, paper, plastics, wood and metal. DRY items should be cleared of debris by rinsing, wiping or shaking before placing them in your DRY bag.
4. Do cans and bottles really need to be rinsed, shaken or wiped clean before I put them in the DRY bag?
Yes. Paper, plastics, metals and other potentially recyclable materials cannot be recycled if they are soiled and are thus rejected and sent to landfill. Furthermore, soiled materials can contaminate other DRY waste rendering those materials unrecyclable.
5. Are meat trays and waxed paper WET or DRY?
When unwrapping meat packaging, the plastic wrap and absorbent pad should be placed in your WET bag and the Styrofoam tray should be rinsed and placed in the DRY bag. All waxed paper products are WET.
6. How do I dispose of broken glass?
Broken glass can be wrapped in newspaper before being placed in the DRY bag to prevent injury to sanitation and Corporation workers.
7. When did the Wet/Dry Program start?
To help ensure a smooth transition, the Westmorland-Albert Solid Waste Corporation decided to phase in the Program throughout the region. Implementation of the first phase took place in the communities of Moncton, Riverview, Dieppe and Sackville on May 31, 1999. Phase II implementation began in May 2000 in the remaining municipalities of Westmorland and Albert counties. Phase III began on January 1, 2001 as local service districts throughout Westmorland and Albert got on board.
The Kings County Region and Kent Solid Waste Commissions, which contract their waste management to Westmorland-Albert Solid Waste Corporation, have also chosen to adopt the Wet/Dry Program as their primary waste diversion strategy. Implementation began on January 1, 2001 for the eastern half of Kings County and on November 5, 2001 throughout Kent County. Initially involving 30,000 households, the Wet/Dry Program is now available to over 100,000 households.
8. Does my waste remain separate on the garbage truck?
Yes, your sorted waste does remain separate on the truck. While some waste haulers use two separate vehicles for WET and DRY waste, the majority of waste haulers in the Westmorland-Albert region use special split-box trucks which contain two separate compartments – one for WET waste and one for DRY.
9. Where does non-separated waste go on the truck?
The Wet/Dry Program is flexible enough to allow individual haulers to decide what method of collection best suits their needs. In most cases, non-separated waste is placed with the DRY waste and delivered to the DRY plant tipping floor where it is removed and sent to landfill. There is no diversion of materials from the non-separated bags, even if they are labeled “Wet” or “Dry”.
10. What happens to my separated waste when it reaches the Waste Management Facility?
Once the waste arrives at the site, it is weighed and directed to the appropriate area. All waste originating from Wet/Dry communities is sent to the Wet/Dry plants for processing.
11. How is DRY waste processed?
DRY waste is received on the DRY plant tipping floor. It is loaded onto a conveyor and sent through the pre-sort station where bulky items and non-transparent bags are removed from the waste stream before the remaining blue bags are passed through a mechanical bag opener. Large pieces of cardboard are also recovered at the presort station.
Once the bags have been opened, the waste passes through the first sorting station. Staff manually remove large objects, including cardboard, bulky items and reject materials. The cardboard is directed to a recycling bin, while bulky items and reject material are stored for delivery to the landfill cell. The waste moves onto a fine-screen to remove small debris and is then transported to the second sorting station where cardboard, plastic film, glass, sneakers, coffee cups and cell phones are manually recovered.
After the second sorting station, the waste is sent through the material separator. The material separator divides the waste into two distinct streams: a “flat” stream composed mostly of paper products, and a “round” stream that includes mostly containers and plastics. The “flats” are directed to the third sorting station where any plastics or other contaminants are removed. “Rounds” are directed to the fourth sorting station where milk cartons, mixed plastics, clear plastics, PET, and all redeemable containers, including nonferrous metals, are extracted. A magnetic separator then removes all ferrous materials from the remaining waste.
Reject material from sorting stations three and four are directed to trailers for disposal in the landfill cell.
12. How is WET waste processed?
WET waste is diverted to the Wet Plant tipping floor, loaded onto a conveyor and sent through a bag opener. The waste is then introduced to a rotating trommel screen. Materials larger than 70 mm, such as baby diapers and containers, are retained by the screen and are rejected to landfill. Organic material falls through and continues the process, passing under a magnet to remove ferrous metals. It is then shredded, mixed with bulking agents such as wood shavings, and directed to one of eight silos for primary composting.
The decomposing material is computer-controlled for air, moisture and temperature levels and is regularly turned by machinery, which pushes the material a few meters a day until it reaches the end of the silo. By the time the material reaches the end of the silo, it has been 90% composted and is discharged to the refining system where foreign materials are removed from the finished compost before it is directed to a maturing pad outside the Wet Plant. The entire process from raw materials to useable compost takes 6 to 8 months.
13. What happens to the compost and recyclables?
The compost produced in the Wet Plant has been used on-site during cell closure projects and is occasionally used as daily cover on the landfill face.
Recyclable materials are sold to various markets for the fabrication on new products.
Mixed paper is recycled to produce the liner board (smooth layers) and cardboard is recycled to produce liner board and medium cardboard (corrugated layers) in corrugated cardboard boxes. Stretch film and filler plastic are recycled to produce plastic lumber. Depending on where it is sent, newsprint can be recycled to produce drink trays, egg cartons, fruit trays, fruit cartons and fast food trays. It may also be recycled into newsprint, paper liner for gyprock, kitty litter and insulation. Number 2 natural plastic can be recycled to produce #2 natural plastic in much the same way that aluminum cans are recycled to produce new aluminum cans. The majority or co-mingled plastic ends up in the carpet or plastic lumber industry. After all traces of wax have been removed from the inside and outside of the milk cartons, they are recycled into a very expensive writing paper. PETT plastics are recycled for the clothing and carpet industry. Finally, sneakers are shipped to Nike’s Recycling Center in Wilsonville, Oregon and recycled into athletic surfaces such as equestrian flooring, playground surfaces and basketball courts.
14. Will everyone eventually have to separate their waste?
The corporation would like to see everyone participating in the wet dry program. The program is currently mandatory is Kings county and Alma. As of October 1, 2006, it will also be mandatory in Dieppe, Hillsborough and Moncton.
In this area of environmental consciousness, it is the belief of the Board at Westmorland-Albert Solid Waste Corporation that not all residents will voluntarily separate their waste. Waste separation not only ensures the long-term viability of our sanitary landfill, but also helps us realize the ultimate goal of protecting our environment.
15. Will waste separation ever become mandatory in our area?
Westmorland and Albert counties are comprised of 14 municipalities and 34 local service districts. Making the Wet/Dry Program mandatory is a municipal and/or provincial responsibility that would require municipal bylaws and provincial legislation.
What the Corporation has done is to adopt a program that is as simple and unobtrusive as possible in order to make the decision to support a healthy environment an easy one for residents throughout the region. The Corporation will continue to monitor participation in the region and to develop educational campaigns to foster voluntary participation in the Program.
It is currently mandatory for residents of Kings County and the Village of Alma to separate their waste using the wet/dry program. As of October 1, 2006, Dieppe, Hillsborough and Moncton have passed a by-law requiring residents to use the wet/dry separation system. Mandatory separation is currently being discussed in many of the other local service districts and municipalities.
16. What is the percentage of households participating in the wet/dry program?
Westmorland-Albert monitors households all over Westmorland and Albert counties in order to identify those houses which are, and which are not participating in the wet/dry program. The most current monitoring was completed in April, 2006. The current participation level in the two counties is 75%.
17. How much of a difference can my family’s two to three bags of garbage per week really make?
Studies show that the average household generates 856 kg of garbage per year, so even though your two or three bags may seem minimal, it is a very significant amount over the long-term, especially if all of your waste is directed to landfill. By participating in the Wet/Dry Program, the organics from your WET waste can be composted and the recyclables in your DRY waste can be recovered for recycling – a huge diversion of reusable materials from landfill over your lifespan! This reinforces the fact that each and every one of us has an important role to play in making the Program a success.
18. What is the Corporation doing to increase diversion rates?
The Corporation is constantly monitoring reject material from the Dry plant and seeking markets for these materials. One of the many reasons the Corporation implemented the Wet/Dry Program is the ease of recovering materials once a market is secured. Because residents are placing all their Dry materials in a blue bag, when a market is found for a particular material, the Corporation must simply instruct Dry Plant employees to begin recovering it from the Dry stream. Over the past couple of years, these efforts have led to the arrangements of markets for milk cartons, electronic waste, sneakers, ink cartridges, Tim Horton’s coffee cups and cell phones.
19. What is the Reuse-A-Shoe Program?
In September 2001, the Westmorland-Albert Solid Waste Corporation, through the assistant of the New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund, was able to launch the first Curbside Sneaker Recycling Program in North America through Nike’s Reuse-A-Shoe Program. The Corporation estimates shipping 60,000 sneakers annually to the Nike Recycling Center in Wilsonville, Oregon where they are shredded and eventually made into innovative sports surfaces around the world. Diverting 60,000 athletic shoes from landfill saves approximately 375 cubic meters of landfill space and completes the life cycle of sneakers from athletic footwear to athletic surfaces.
20. Do I have to use transparent green and blue garbage bags?
To participate in the Wet/Dry Program you must use transparent green and blue bags. The transparency of these bags addresses one of the Corporation’s major concerns – the safety of residents, garbage collectors and the Corporation staff – because potential hazards inside the bags can readily be identified.
Furthermore, the green and blue see-through bags have proven to be the key to successful waste diversion in other areas. The colors provide important visual reminders when discarding your waste and the transparency ensures lower levels of waste stream contamination. In the home, at the curb and at the Westmorland-Albert Solid Waste Corporation’s facility, there is no confusion about the bags’ contents.
21. Can I still use grocery or other non-transparent bags for my garbage?
Yes, you can use smaller non-transparent bags such as grocery bags and place them inside the appropriate green or blue one for disposal as long as they contain separated Wet and Dry waste. However, if you do use these bags, do not tie them as the bag openers are not designed to open such small bags.
22. Where can I buy the green and blue garbage bags?
Most major stores are now carrying a wide selection of green and blue transparent bags. Our Community Relations Department carries out regular surveys of these stores. You can get a copy of our Physical Store Survey by calling out Information Hotline at (506) 877-1040.
23. Is the Corporation continuing its public education campaign?
Yes. In 2005 alone, the Community Relations Department participated in over 275 presentations, tours, trade shows, fairs, parades, bag exchanges, conferences and various events throughout Westmorland and Albert counties. If your school, group or organization would like to arrange a presentation or a tour, or if your community has a special event coming up that you would like to have us attend, please call our Community Relations Department at (506) 877-1050 or send us an email at email@example.com.
24. Will the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) sector eventually be asked to participate in the Wet/Dry Program?
Yes. The Corporation is currently in the process of performing waste audits on ICI sub-sectors in their efforts to assist the ICI sector with the implementation of the Wet/Dry Program. Members of the ICI sector can contact the Community Relations Department at (506) 877-1050 if they are interested in having a waste audit performed and/or in helping the Corporation develop a successful ICI Implementation Guide.
Household Hazardous Waste
25. What is Household Hazardous Waste?
Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) is found in virtually every home. The most recognizable of these wastes are products that carry labels such as poisonous, corrosive, reactive or flammable, but there are other hazardous wastes that are not so easily identified, such as syringes, batteries and nail polish remover. HHS is not an acceptable municipal waste and is not permitted in either your WET or DRY waste.
26. Why can’t I put my Household Hazardous Waste in with my residential waste?
Hazardous waste is just that, hazardous. In the interest of the safety of yourself, your family, your pets, and sanitation workers, hazardous waste cannot be included with your regular garbage pick-up. Chemicals, fuels, syringes and other household hazardous waste all pose a serious threat to anyone handling them, particularly if they don’t know these wastes are present. These products can ignite in dumpsters or trucks, they are often harmful to the environment and they could contaminate compost and recyclable materials, making them undesirable for the market place and destined for the landfill.
27. How do I dispose of my Household Hazardous Waste?
There are several depots throughout Westmorland and Albert Counties for discarding used batteries, propane tanks, and motor oil. Containers for biomedical waste such as syringes and lancets are available from most pharmacies and must be returned to the point of purchase for disposal. Contact your pharmacy for information concerning disposal options and fees.
In response to public demand for readily accessible hazardous waste disposal, the Corporation has built the first HHW depot operated by a solid waste facility in New Brunswick. Located at our site at 2024 Berry Mills Road, hours of operation are Fridays 10:00 am to 3:00 pm and Saturdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.
In order to better serve residents throughout Westmorland, Albert, Kings and Kent counties, the Corporation operates a Mobile HHW Unit that accepts waste from residents in their respective communities during HHW days, usually held in the Spring and the Fall. Watch your local newspaper for dates or look it up on our website at www.westmorlandalbert.com.
28. Will dropping my Household Hazardous Waste off at commercial centers cost me any money?
Battery depots managed by the Corporation are available to residents free of charge, but other privately owned depots may charge a fee in order to cover disposal costs. Westmorland-Albert’s HHW depot is free to all residents of Westmorland, Albert, Kings and Kent counties; however, only hazardous waste from households is accepted here.
29. Are empty paint and aerosol cans hazardous?
No. Most empty household hazardous waste containers (e.g. paint, aerosols, cleaning products) can be placed wit your DRY garbage. Paint cans should have the lid removed and any remaining paint must be dried before placing it in the blue bag.
30. What is the difference between a sanitary landfill and a dump?
Traditional landfills, often referred to as “open” or “polluting” dumps, simply contain waste under the ground, potentially allowing a waste by-product called leachate to enter and contaminate groundwater and other water sources. They also attract rodents, insects and other disease-carrying vermin. Other negative effects of open dumps include emission of air pollution, odors and the creation of potential fire hazards. In a sanitary landfill these risks are virtually eliminated, thanks in part to protective liners and monitoring systems that ensure there is no harm being done to the environment.
31. Does the sanitary landfill threaten our groundwater or nearby waterways?
Westmorland-Albert’s sanitary landfill, like others, is equipped with protective liners that prevent leachate run-off. As well, a leachate sump pump and collection pipes carry this harmful liquid to the leachate pond, where it is treated and neutralized before being discharged to the City of Moncton’s sewage treatment facility. Groundwater monitoring wells give landfill workers the opportunity to constantly check the system to ensure all components are in good working order. These monitors remain in place for 30 years after each landfill cell is completed.
32. What is leachate?
Leachate is any liquid and suspended materials that it contains that has percolated through or drained from a municipal solid waste facility.
33. When did the existing waste management facility open?
After five years of consultations, public meetings, site selection, an environmental impact assessment and other logistic planning, the waste management facility was officially opened on November 30, 1992.
34. How much waste does the Waste Management Facility receive each year?
In 2005, approximately 140 000 metric tones of waste was delivered to the facility. Residents, businesses and institutions in Westmorland and Albert counties accounted for 116 000 tonnes of that total, while 13 500 tonnes was generated in Kent County and 10 300 was generated in eastern Kings County. A further breakdown shows that 45 percent of that total waste generated is residential and 55 percent comes from the Industrial, Commercial and Institutional (ICI) sectors. As general trend, the volume of waste generated increases slightly each year.
35. How long will the sanitary landfill last?
Studies have indicated that our current sanitary landfill site, which sits on 1272 acres of land in Berry Mills has a life expectancy of 100 years without and diversion of materials.
36. How long will it last with participation in the Wet/Dry Program?
Prior to the implementation of the Wet/Dry Program, each landfill cell was filling up within one year. However, based on current participation in the Wet/Dry Program, the latest cell is projected to last up to three years. With continued composting and recycling efforts by residents, our landfill is now expected to last over 140 years.
37. What is a tipping fee?
Tipping fees are the fees charged for the delivery of waste to the Waste Management Facility. These fees are the Westmorland-Albert Solid Waste Corporation’s main source of revenue.
38. Will the Wet/Dry Program result in lower tipping fees or reduced taxes?
Revenues from recycling and composting allow the Corporation to offer a variety of services to residents while maintaining one of the lowest tipping fees in the province.
The WASWC is not in a position to speculate on matters regarding taxes as these fall under the jurisdiction of municipal and provincial governments.
39. Do I have to pay the same tipping fee for all the waste I bring to the facility?
No. The Corporation has established variable fees specific to construction and demolition waste to encourage the safe and environmentally responsible disposal of these wastes at our facility. The present tipping fee for mixed waste is $54.65 per metric tonne for 2006.
40. Can computers be recycled?
Yes. In the fall of 2001, the Corporation launched its Computer Recycling Program in conjunction with its Sneaker Recycling Program. To accomplish this task, the Corporation was partnered with New Brunswick Computers for Schools and Triple “R” Telecom. Residents drop off used computers at the site free of charge and they are subsequently tested by the Corporation employees to determine if they will enter classrooms in the province or become scrap for recycling by Triple “R” Telecom in Saint John.
In November of 2003, the New Brunswick Environmental Trust Fund announced their support for a Westmorland-Albert Electronic Recycling Program. The Corporation began the in January 2004. The Electronic Recycling Action Plan was to collect residential and commercial electronic waste free of charge from January to March 31, 2004 in an attempt to send 3-4 shipments of end-of-life equipment to Noranda Recycling in Brampton, Ontario, for 100% recycling. The Westmorland-Albert Electronic Recycling Initiative will serve as the first of its kind in Atlantic Canada.
41. Are tires, household appliances and construction and demolition waste landfilled?
No. The Waste Management Facility has maintained areas on site for construction and demolition materials, tires, and household appliances, such as fridges, stoves and freezers.
Wood is chipped and burned as fuel to heat the Wet and Dry Processing Facilities. Tires are sent for recycling where they are made into a variety of products including cow pillows. CFCs are removed from freezers and fridges at no direct cost to our residents and the metal is sold for scrap.
42. How far is the site from Moncton?
Westmorland-Albert’s Solid Waste Management Facility is located at 2024 Route 128 (Berry Mills Road), approximately five kilometers west of the Moncton Coliseum.
43. What are the Hours of Operation of the facility?
The site is open Monday to Friday from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm and Saturday from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm.
44. Where can I get more information?
Call our Information Hotline at (506) 877-1040 for questions about the Wet/Dry program or check us out at www.westmorlandalbert.com.