NORTH BAY — The City of North Bay has voted to ban the collection and disposal of textiles that still has a shelf life, in the general waste stream.
An education campaign will be developed to educate the public on options available for the reduction, reuse and recycling of textiles.
Councillor Mac Bain approves the ban saying the resolution has the best environmental outcome for the city of North Bay.
“Ninety per cent of this whole resolution that we’re moving forward is to educate the public, much as we have done over the years on blue boxes. How to recycle, what to recycle? Banning cardboard and e-waste from our landfill have paid dividends,” said Bain who expects the textile ban will pay the same dividends.
“The information that we’re going to share with the public is, if you’ve got a t-shirt that still has useful life to it, then we would like you to donate that to a place where it is going to be resold and repurposed. If you’ve got an old t-shirt that has holes and it has been grease-stained and you’ve used it in the garage for four or five years, that is garbage. Continue to put that in your garbage can. It will go to the landfill,” said Bain.
“We’re hoping to reduce the nearly four million pounds of textiles, good used clothing, that gets to the landfill every year. That is not environmentally friendly because it is decreasing the lifespan of our landfill. It is costly to run up to the landfill.”
Deputy Mayor Tanya Vrebosch raised concerns about the potential impact on non-profits.
“We don’t want to have an adverse effect on non-profits,” said Vrebosch.
“I think we have to be careful and work with them, rather than impose things that could affect them.”
Vrebosch shared her experiences working with a non-profit.
“I’m a little bit concerned having worked for a non-profit before. I know the types of things that get dropped off, sometimes without your knowledge,” said Vrebosch.
Dumping unusable items off at non-profits creates an added burden.
“They may already be in receipt of a landfill tipping fee waiver. However, that doesn’t usually cover the cost of the gas or having to sort through things. Will they be overwhelmed? I think that there are some concerns there,” said Vrebosch.
“I wanted to take off the ban for now because it is a ban that says you can’t go to the landfill, but we’re not going to go through your garbage bag. I think there is a lot there that makes it a little convoluted and I don’t think we’re there yet.”
The ban will go into effect on April 22, Earth Day.