10/03/2014 11:59 EDT | Updated 12/03/2014 05:59 EST

Beaconsfield garbage sensors inspire residents to waste less

The City of Beaconsfield says a pilot project has helped the city cut down on its waste output, and it wants to expand the program this fall.

Over the past year, 253 homes in Beaconsfield, Que. took part in an initiative that used special garbage cans with sensors to measure how much trash each home threw out.

Beaconsfield Mayor Georges Bourelle says once residents realized how much they were tossing out, they started to cut down.

“People don’t realize how much garbage we produce ... I think we’re just not aware of what we’re doing. And once you create that awareness, it’s surprising how people will respond. “

Bourelle says the pilot project was a success, and they're looking at expanding the program this fall.

Right now the program is only about raising awareness, but Bourelle says they might eventually introduce cash incentives for people who throw out less.

He said in 2013, the city produced 7,200 tonnes of garbage. According to Bourelle, two thirds of that could have been composted or recycled.

Since starting the project, Bourelle says there has been a 33 per cent reduction in waste production.

“In essence, they are composting a lot of their waste. They’re also using green residue collection and recycling as a part of the project. “