NEWS

Beaconsfield pilot project leads to 30% reduction in garbage

04/06/2015 08:53 EDT | Updated 06/06/2015 05:59 EDT
Beaconsfield is looking to overhaul the way people get rid of trash.

Residents in the West Island suburb are among the highest producers of landfill waste on the island of Montreal, but the city hopes to change that by creating incentives for people to do more recycling and composting.

As part of a two-year pilot project involving 200 residents, the city equipped garbage bins with radio frequency identification tags and installed equipment on garbage trucks to record each time abin was picked up. 

Residents who took part produced 30 per cent less landfill waste than their neighbours.

"A very real significant reduction in waste was produced," said Andrew Duffield, Beaconsfield's director of public works.

If the system becomes permanent, Duffield said residents who keep producing lots of garbage may have to pay more tax. 

Leona Kemp, a resident who participated in the trial, said she's in favour of the idea.

"I think it's a wonderful incentive for their citizens," Kemp said. 

Beaconsfield produces the second most landfill waste per person of any jurisdiction on the island of Montreal, according to city councillor Karen Messier.

So while an incentive system will give residents a chance to avoid a higher tax bill, she said environmental concerns are the main motivation behind the idea.

"We have to do something and we have to do something pretty dramatic, we've all settled into some pretty bad habits," Messier said.

They city hopes to implement the new system in 2016.

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