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Halifax’s waste reduction strategy aims to cut down how much we throw out

Province wants to cut average trash production to 300 kilograms per year

2 min read
A person’s hand holds an empty red coffee cup over a garbage can.
caption The province plans to reduce waste disposal rates to 300 kg per person by 2030.
Shazara Khan

The average person in the Halifax Regional Municipality threw out 372 kg of garbage last year, says the executive director of the city’s public works department. 

Brad Anguish told the city’s budget committee on Tuesday that the province plans to reduce the amount of waste produced by Nova Scotians to 300 kg from 402 kg of trash per person per year by 2030.

“The big piece this year will be the solid waste strategy to work with council to understand how we’re going to bite that elephant a piece at a time,” he said.

Anguish said the solid waste strategy will work with HalifACT, the city’s climate action plan, to encourage waste diversion in the municipality. This means cutting the amount of waste heading to landfills by reusing, recycling and composting.

He said the plan will promote a recycling program and will support the development of a new composting facility in Ragged Lake. The city’s website states the facility, already under construction, will be completed in winter 2024.

Anguish also said the municipality increased its solid waste resources budget by five per cent for the 2022/2023 year. 

Andrew Philopoulos, public works director of solid waste resources, said the municipality is reducing its waste promotion budget by $75,000, but that it will continue educating the public on waste reduction.

“It just means we may reduce slightly to be able to accommodate that budget cut, but we still do plan to promote our illegal dumping campaigns or anti-litter campaigns or single-use plastic reduction campaigns,” he said.

“In our work plan for next year, we will continue to provide education around green cart maintenance.”

Some residents in the HRM voiced their concerns from the streets.

Clayton Park resident Brandy Warman said that while it’s important to reduce waste, inflation is making it harder for her to do so.

“It’s hard because sustainable places are so expensive,” she said, referring to her usage of one-time use plastics. 

Anika Bushra is another resident who said the municipality should improve its service.

She said she had bags lying around her house because waste collectors were only taking some of her garbage while leaving the rest in front of her house.

“It doesn’t feel hygienic when you have waste lying in your house because of the inefficiency of the waste management,” she said.

Bushra said increasing the solid waste resources budget is a good idea if it helps the city improve its operations. 

“I think that’s something that needs to be done urgently,” she said. 

The budget committee reconvened on Wednesday and voted to withdraw a motion that would have reduced weekly summer green cart collections.

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About the author

Shazara Khan

Shazara Khan is a journalism student at the University of King's College. Before coming to Halifax, she got a Bachelor of Science from her hometown...

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