Left: Judging panel - Andrew Telfer, Walmart; Scott Tudor, Sobeys; Elaine Li & Naomi Resnick, Home Depot; Luc Lortie, Costco; Oksana Lapierre, Canadian Tire
Right: Andrew Telfer, Walmart; Lindsay Van Wyck, Eduardo Diniz Souza and Kelly Goodwin, Conestoga College; Rachel Morier, PAC

Ciao - Recycling in Rome, London and Bayview Glen

Alan Blake
PAC NEXT, Executive Director

Rachel has been holding down the fort while I visit Rome and London. And, as you know, I am always fascinated by the local recycling efforts (as well as the local culture and history but there are just so many museums and art galleries and palaces that you can visit before you need to take a recycling break).

Definitely a tale of two cities here:

Rome’s city center is bustling with tourists strolling calmly along beautiful, very narrow, cobbled streets with no room for large garbage trucks. Local residents have a daily schedule of garbage collection times and are obliged to take their garbage, organics, and recyclables to a central collection point (typically on a main street corner). Usually, a waste manager will help residents sort and separate their recyclables correctly (paper, glass, plastics and cartons) - now that’s education in action!

In my home town of London, it’s a much more dynamic story combining the tourist throng with thousands of commuters on a schedule. Wheeled recycling bins for garbage, organic waste and single stream recyclables are the norm with educational material and collection schedules available on-line. 2010 data from the European Environment Agency (EEA) indicates that the % recycling of municipal waste in Italy was about 35% vs. 40% for the United Kingdom.

Looking to the future though, our congratulations to team Ctrl-Z Bayview Glen who took home the Overall Robot Design Award - 2nd Place at the 72-team University of Arkansas Razorback Invitational tournament. PAC and PAC NEXT have been delighted to support the Bayview Glen students and their exciting project developing a voice activated recycling center. So, yes, while no surprises here overall, we all still have a long way to go on our zero waste journey but the future looks promising given the energy and creativity of our younger generation.

As always, we look forward to hearing from you.


P.S. I need to correct an omission from the list of PAC NEXT member companies that support Operation Clean Sweep and thank the Farnell Company for their support of this excellent program that targets reducing plastic pellets going into our Oceans, Lakes and Rivers.

The Depth and Breadth of Organics Recycling

Susan Antler, Executive Director,
The Compost Council of Canada

The depth and breadth of organics recycling has expanded in quantum leaps since the first national survey of organics recycling facilities was conducted in 1992 by The Compost Council of Canada. From an original processing base of 275,000 tonnes of organic residuals with 90% of this volume being done in Ontario, our most recent survey identifies that approximately 3.5 million tonnes of organics are being managed in large-scale composting and anaerobic digestion facilities, now present in every province and our territories.

Each bin and bag collected, resident and business involved, facility and program established and the products produced have made a real, positive impact - to the local economy, culture and our overall environment.

It has not been easy - changing opinions and actions never is. But relative to the focus devoted to government policy and industry stewardship programs on other resource materials in the “garbage bin” and the diversion tonnages that have been delivered from these varying materials, the diversion success for organics - estimated at tapping only 25% of its annual potential - has been phenomenal.

Diving into the details of organics recycling reveals a world of ever-increasing focus on product manufacturing and market development - whether the operation is municipally or private sector-based. And, relative to other recycling streams, there is a range of processing facilities, diverse in operations and technology and intensely locally-based.

This diversity does not make it easy for the consistency wanted and expected by companies looking for end-of-life, alternatives-to-landfill solutions for products and packaging suited to being composted or anaerobically digested.

But like everything, you have to invest in your future and be involved to influence the direction and infrastructure that is best suited to your objectives.

The Certified Compostable Committee being spearheaded through a partnership between The Compost Council of Canada and the Municipal Waste Association with involvement from PAC Next, the Canadian Plastics Industry Association and certified compostable resin suppliers is one forum where the present and future infrastructure of organics recycling is being discussed.

Another is at the annual national organics recycling conference, to be held this year in Niagara Falls from September 26 to 28, 2016. If organics recycling is of interest to your company for internal resource management purposes or for the future “disposal” management of your branded products and packaging, please consider attending. Through the facility tours, presentations, networking and overall discussions, you will gain an insight in to the world of organics recycling, its current developments and future-forward progress that could otherwise take ages to obtain. A timely investment with realizable dividends in knowledge and networks as organics recycling commands ever-greater attention for its diversion potential, environmental and economic sustainability.

For more information about organics recycling and the National Organics Recycling Conference, please visit or contact The Compost Council of Canada @ 1-877-571-GROW(4769) or (416) 535-6710.

Rachel's Sneak Peek

Rachel Morier
PAC NEXT, Program Manager


In the news, we hear ongoing debate regarding plastic ban bans and fees such as what is currently happening in New York City and Montreal.

It seems fitting that the Just One Package Innovation Challenge ran this month. The students of five colleges, including Ryerson University, Humber College, Conestoga College, Mohawk College and Durham College, were given a fictitious but detailed design brief, requiring them to design a packaging solution that aligns with Walmart Canada’s initiative to reduce consumer reliance on single-use bags. The goal was to eliminate the need to ‘bag’ mid to large sized items, and to design a ‘carrying’ solution into the product’s packaging or in-store applications for handling and transportation convenience to the home. Submissions from industry innovators were also welcome.

Insightful feedback was given by the judges from Walmart Canada (student competition sponsor), Sobeys, Home Depot, Costco and Canadian Tire (shown top left) to assist the audience with their voting decision.

Congratulations to all the participants and to the first place winners - Lindsay Van Wyck, Eduardo Diniz Souza and Kelly Goodwin of Conestoga College (shown top right) for “The Cube: Stand Up, Stand Out” design. We also congratulate the first place industry winner Olivier Van Migem of Reflective Shopper.

Questions or comments? Contact me at


Upcoming Meetings:
PAC NEXT & PAC FOOD WASTE Leadership Council
June 7th 10am-12pm ET

Multi-Layer Laminates
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EPR & Policy News:
CSSA Calculator Now Available to Compare the New Methodology with the Current Methodology

MMBC partners with community groups to promote recycling

NY approves bag fee

Australia's most populated state to begin bottle deposits

Industry News:
Wal-Mart extends plastic bag fees in Canada

10 trends defining the waste industry - and why they matter

Global plastics industry outlines plans to reduce marine litter

Recycled, Bioplastics’ $3.5 Billion Savings Opportunity

Unilever ‘Sustainable Brands’ Grew 30% Faster Than Other Brands in 2015

Recycling News:
“Curbing” Curbside Recycling Costs and Boosting Recovery

GPI Teams with Beverage, Glass and Recycling Leaders to Create U.S. Glass Recycling Coalition

PET, HDPE container recycling increases in California

Large Ontario MRF carries mixed-waste potential

Useful Links:
Top 15 Packaging Challenges (+ Recommendations) For Recycling in a MRF

Useful Videos:
Scientists Discover Mealworms Can Eat Styrofoam, Waxworms Can Eat Plastic

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National Organics & Compost Conference
Sept. 26th-28th, Niagara Falls, ON

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