Every business in Nova Scotia is responsible by law for providing receptacles that allow the public and employees to sort waste. Receptacles can be placed inside or outside the business to make sorting more convenient; however, the business is responsible for ensuring the waste is separated properly before it is collected through curbside collection or private hauling.
In 1996, the Province of Nova Scotia enacted a Banned Lanfill Materials List which prohibits the disposal of a number of materials from landfill. The LRCRC Regulations for the Admission and Disposal of Waste state who waste is to be separated before delivery in conjunction with the Provincial Regulations.
How Can My Businesses Improve Their Waste Separation?
There are a lot of free resources available to assist business owners and staff in understanding the sorting guidelines! Here are a few services and resources which are available for businesses in the areas of Bridgewater, Mahone Bay and the Municipality of the District of Lunenburg:
- Staff & Management Training Sessions - The Lunenburg Regional Community Recycling Centre's Public Outreach team can train your staff and managers how to sort the waste your business produces through waste training sessions which can be delivered in as little as a half an hour. Times are flexible and multiple trainings may be arranged to accomodate shift changes or large groups. Examples of waste are shown and the proper waste diposal stream is discussed. Sessions may be arranged by calling the Public Outreach Department at 543-2913. Refresher courses are always available for those who need to be reminded where things go or in cases of staff turnover. Staff meetings and toolbox meetings are great times to provide this type of training.
- Waste Audits - The Public Outreach team can arrange a convenient time to meet with you and examine the types of waste which your business produces. This is a great opportunity to ask questions and to learn where your waste goes. This may be arranged by calling 543-4277.
- Business - Specific Waste Separation Signs and Brochures - Signs may be developed as Public Outreach examines your waste. A few examples of waste may be used to create graphic signs with wording such as organics, recyclable, paper and garbage. This may be arranged by calling 543-4277.
- General Waste Sorting Brochures - The Lunenburg Regional Community Recycling Centre has developed waste sorting guides. They may be printed from this website or Public Outreach will be happy to provide a number of paper copies as well.
- General Waste Sorting Signs - Signs are also available on this website. They may be printed and are quite durable when laminated. Public Outreach can provide quite a few laminated and peel and stick signs to help businesses get things on the right track.
- Bin Set Up and Bin Manufacturing Companies - Public Outreach can guide you in placing your bins effectively for maximum waste separation. Waste separation bin manufacturers are available on-line. Several manufacturers operate within Nova Scotia.
Create a Waste Policy
Clearly define roles and responsibilities for your staff and help them understand why they must sort waste. Include the procedures and guidelines for your recycling program in all employee orientation and occupational health and safety sessions.
Assign "Garbage Police"
Talk to staff to determine who would like to lead in waste management for your business. They could be responsible for contacting the Public Outreach Department when new signs, brochures and staff training is needed. They could also be the 'go to' person for answers when staff have questions. If they don't know the answer, contact Pulbic Outreach at (902) 543-2913.
The easiest way to ensure customers sort waste correctly is to have them leave waste for staff to take care of or by having the sorting station near staff so they may observe what is being disposed of and to assist customers who might be incorretly separating waste.
Wate Reduction Tips
Every business can adopt practices such as encouraging employess to bring their own reusable mugs, cups, dishes and cutlery for break time. A bottle bruch and detergent at the lunchroom sink makes rinsing dishes, containers and recyclables fast and easy. Consider using reusable products when refreshments are being served.
- Set your printers to print double-sided, reducing paper;
- Use unneeded paper for scribbling notes;
- If possible, read from your computer screen instead of printing - bookmark website pages;
- Buy regularly used items in bulk to avoid excess packaging;
- Puchase recycled products whenever possible;
- Re-label folders to keep them in circulation;
- Reduce consumption by considering using corrugated plastic shipping boxes instead of cardboard;
- Bubble wrap, packaging peanuts and other shipping materials can be stored for reuse;
- Restaurants can wash and resuse food containers, tubs and buckets for storing spices, dry goods and other supplies.