Solid Waste Authority Saying No to Plastic Bags


The Essex Windsor Solid Waste Authority is saying no to plastic bags.

In partnership with the City of Windsor, the No Plastic Bags... Period education campaign has a goal to divert plastic bags of all sorts from blue bins.

According to Manager of Waste Diversion with the county, Cathy Copot-Nepszy, buyers are imposing stricter quality demands on the recyclables that the waste authority sells.

She says they have to be under a five-percent contamination rate.

"Bags of all kinds, plastic bags pose an issue because they sometimes will get into our final product," says Copot-Nepszy, adding "Operationally, it also causes big issues because we have a lot of manual sorting, so now you have an operator who doesn't just sort out the contaminants, they actually have to open the bag to see what's in there."

Copot-Nepszy says plastic bags mixed in with recycling can also cause equipment issues.

"It can get in to gears and different kinds of equipment, screens, that cause for much more maintenance at the end of the day and can slow us down she say."

According to Copot-Nepszy, part of the campaign is also to educate people on the fact that a plastic bag isn't just one you get from the grocery store.

"It's the pouch that your vegetables or frozen goods come in, the plastic bag around your water bottle cases or anything like that, is not acceptable." 

The education campaign will officially launch in late March when the City of Windsor sends out its 2020 waste collection calendar.

As of June 1st, if a collector at the curb sees a plastic bag, the entire blue bin will be left as-is with education materials left to explain why the goods weren't picked up.

Sobeys stores across Canada including Windsor-Essex recently removed single-use plastic grocery bags and is encouraging shoppers to use reusable bags or buy paper bags for 10-cents.