Building a Better Solid Waste System, Together

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Over the past weeks, we've come together as a community, in-person and online, to talk about our options for evolving HRM's waste system. This video recaps what we heard during the first phase of engagement.

Thank you for participating in this process. The survey and discussion forums are now closed. All responses will be compiled and packaged for inclusion in the final report. Stay tuned for updates.

Answers to your questions

Last updated on October 15, 2013

We've received a lot of questions during our public engagement events and are working on answering them all. Some are similar, so we've grouped them together. You can find the most up to date Q&A below, as well as the list of all the questions you've asked.

What we've heard

Phase 1 of the solid waste strategy review community engagement program consisted of consultations with industry stakeholders, residents of the communities in nearest proximity to the Otter Lake landfill, and members of the general public across all of HRM. A summary of key themes that have arisen in the engagement process thus far and the relative weight of each category of feedback is presented in the following Midterm Project Report.

Over the past weeks, we've come together as a community, in-person and online, to talk about our options for evolving HRM's waste system. This video recaps what we heard during the first phase of engagement.

Thank you for participating in this process. The survey and discussion forums are now closed. All responses will be compiled and packaged for inclusion in the final report. Stay tuned for updates.

Answers to your questions

Last updated on October 15, 2013

We've received a lot of questions during our public engagement events and are working on answering them all. Some are similar, so we've grouped them together. You can find the most up to date Q&A below, as well as the list of all the questions you've asked.

What we've heard

Phase 1 of the solid waste strategy review community engagement program consisted of consultations with industry stakeholders, residents of the communities in nearest proximity to the Otter Lake landfill, and members of the general public across all of HRM. A summary of key themes that have arisen in the engagement process thus far and the relative weight of each category of feedback is presented in the following Midterm Project Report.

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    How can more people be persuaded to recycle properly and do it consistently?

    Carolyn asked almost 7 years ago
    We know the majority of people recycle because it's the right thing to do. When we start looking at those who do not there are a few reasons. Sometimes they don't know it's required/expected, or they aren't sure of how to do it. We can reach those people through education/awareness (brochures, in person workshops, advertising etc). There are others who, for whatever reason, do not feel that they should have to recycle or don't want to do it. At this point we have to bring in enforcement. Inspections are conducted at businesses to ensure they have all the right bins in place to sort waste. This is paired with education to ensure staff are using the bins properly. At the curb we currently enforce through our bag limit - anything above the limit is left behind. There are other tools recommended in this process (including lowering the bag limit and/or clear bags) which could help with the enforcement at the curb.
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    When will the interim report prepared by National Consulting be made available, "unfiltered" to the public. (Not the HRM staff version) This process is being paid for by the taxpayers of this city and I for one am very interested in its full content?

    ScottG asked about 7 years ago
    Hi Scott, The midterm project report is now available under Background Information, or at: http://shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/document/show/53. Thanks for your question. -Engagement Team
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    If you change to clear garbage bags be sure to give lots of notice so that I don't buy anymore green bags and I get to use them up.

    anonymous asked about 7 years ago
    All of the clear bag programs that have been implimented in Nova Scotia include a 'privacy bag'. This means that one solid colour black/green bag can be used per household on each collection day. Any bags in addition to that (up to the limit) must be clear. This has been a successful tool in addressing concerns residents have with privacy, as well as using up existing supply of black garbage bags. Thank you for your question. ~ Shannon, HRM Solid Waste
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    Why don't you have a full online education and engagement tool like Metro Transit had? What is online is very minimal and should be added to. specifically there is limited clear education to residents who are not all working in the world of municipal solid waste. There is also (maybe more importantly) no online engagement other than the discussion board and a simple (select 1 of the following) poll. Please review Metro Transit and upgrade the site to be more in line with current needs/requirements of the HRM population who cannot all attend one of few meetings. Please consider online meetings, online surveys, etc. You are missing a whole demographic of residents by not having suitable engagement methods. Thanks,

    Kelseygreen asked about 7 years ago
    Thanks for your question, and we appreciate your feedback. The waste system is complicated, and we've been developing tools throughout the engagement process to help communicate how it currently works and the options under consideration that Council would like to get the public's input on. Information and feedback mechanisms on the portal have been evolving on an ongoing basis to mirror the engagement that happens at in-person events. Just today, we've launched a new video, background information, as well as an extensive survey and five new discussion forums. I encourage you to check out this new information and provide your feedback. Thanks again, - Engagement Team
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    Hi, I'm wondering when a public info session will be held for members of the Sackville community? We'd love to be able to promote the event to the people in the area. Rebecca

    anonymous asked about 7 years ago
    Hi Rebecca, Members of the Sackville community are very welcome to join us at any of the upcoming sessions. The closest event in Bedford (intended for all surrounding communities as well) will be held on October 17 from 7 to 9pm at the Bedford Hammonds Plains Community Centre. Please feel free to share the event details. We hope you can join us! Thanks, - Engagement Team
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    The Stantec report claims that shutting down the WSF/FEP and other measures will save over $10M/yr. Where is the full business plan to show these savings to include all operational, economic, environmental factors to realize these savings?

    ScottG asked about 7 years ago
    The SNC Lavalin Peer Review provides the following breakdown of expected savings and potential incremental costs for additional operational categories and programs related to the case for closing the FEP/WSF: Financial Review: Reductions to HRM Solid Waste Budget if FEP and WSF are closed: $7.2 M/year Front End Processing (FEP) Unit annual operations budget $1.7 M/year Waste Stabilization Facility (WSF) annual operations budget $1.8 M/year FEP / WSF capital cost and repair budget $0 / year No change in cost to repurpose or decommission if done 10 years early $0 / year No change in salvage value for FEP / WSF if done 10 years early $10.7 M/yr Cumulative reduction to HRM budget if FEP / WSF are closed Financial Review: Additions to HRM Solid Waste Budget if FEP and WSF are closed $100 K/year Residual Disposal Facility (RDF) additional labour $100 K/year RDF area additional annual access road improvements and relocations $0 /year RDF infrastructure charge due to change in material density and volume $100 K/year RDF area addition to annual mechanical equipment compaction effort $0 /year RDF Gas Management Resources change in infrastructure and operations $0 /year RDF change in annual odour incident responses, and leachate collection, transportation and treatment budget $300 K/year White Goods Program (additional resources) $150 K/year Household Hazardous Waste Program (additional resources) $100 K/year RDF area additional mechanical compaction efforts and equipment $100 K/year Scale house and associated functions salvaged from FEP budget $950 K/yr Cumulative additions to HRM budget if FEP / WSF are closed $10.7 M - $950 k = $9,750,000 or approx. $10 M annually. HRM Solid Waste Staff
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    Is there public support for shutting down the FEP/WSF? And if there isn't strong public support for shutting down those facilities could they be shut down anyway?

    rmbrown asked about 7 years ago
    Hi there, Thanks for your question. As the community engagement facilitators, our role is to gather feedback on the options under consideration to evolve the waste system, including closure/repurposing of the Front End Processor and Waste Stabilization Facility (FEP-SWF). In the upcoming phase of engagement that begins next week, residents will have the opportunity to provide specific feedback on the future of the FEP-SWF. The feedback we gather on all options will be reflected in a report delivered to Regional Council to inform their decision making. Any decisions about the options under consideration will be made by Council, taking into account the public’s feedback, the findings of the strategy review, consultants’ reports, and other key considerations. Thanks again, -Engagement Team
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    I attended the World Café style community engagement last night. Are the notes that were made on the table paper being saved and communicated in a report as well? If not, facilitators may want to clearly communicate this to participants so they are aware. Comments/feedback noted on those tables are important and if they are not being used, people need to know. It may change what people are putting on the sticky notes or how much info they are including in them.

    Kristen Dick asked about 7 years ago
    Hi there, thanks for your question! The paper is provided for brainstorming during table discussions. We consider it something of a "rough copy", a place to jot down comments and ideas, and draw whatever you like. We harvest what people say in the room, write on post-it notes, and the comments shared on the feedback forms. We appreciate your feedback and will be sure to explain the purpose of the table paper in upcoming sessions. More information on the World Cafe style of community engagement can be found at: http://www.theworldcafe.com/method.html Thanks again, -Engagement Team
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    Is the report/analysis by Dr. Paul Arnold re: the WSF output that the CMC referred to in their presentation going to be posted here?

    Kristen Dick asked about 7 years ago
    Hi Kristen, Thanks for your question. You can find that report here: http://shapeyourcityhalifax.ca/document/show/31, or under Background Information, in the Consultant Reports folder. Kind regards, Engagement Team
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    Where is the material presented and questions with answers posed at the Timberlea/Prospect Rd community meeting this past Wed/Thurs?

    JeCo asked about 7 years ago
    Hello, We are currently working to answer the large volume of questions from last week's Town Hall meetings. We hope to post responses as soon as possible early this week, along with the materials presented. Thanks for your question. - Engagement Team