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When it comes to waste diversion, this condo building is setting the green standard

Jun. 25, 2019

Of Ottawa's 1,700 or so multi-residential buildings, only about 500 currently have organics recycling programs, according to the city.

On Tuesday, the city's environment committee is expected to endorse a series of recommendations aimed at reversing that trend, including asking the province for money to help landlords absorb the cost of setting up waste diversion programs.

Some buildings are already leading by example.

The Hom, a 12-storey, 115-unit condo building on Champagne Avenue S., was built in 2013. Unlike buildings of a similar size, it has no garbage chute. Instead, half a dozen wheeled green bins share a ground-floor room with larger recycling bins and garbage dumpsters.

Green bins caught on

The building's superintendent, Jovan Chef, says it all began five years ago with a single green bin for leaf and yard waste. He soon discovered residents had been looking for a place to toss their organic waste.

"One bin was full in a few days," Chef said. "Now we're filling six [green bins] a week, and it's absolutely amazing how much is being diverted into these bins." 

Chef said the building has since been able to get rid of one large garbage bin, and the two that remain are rarely full on pickup day.

"We at times are actually only filling one of the two bins, that's how much is being diverted."

It's saving money, too. Getting rid of a single dumpster saves the condo corporation $1,500 a year in rental fees, plus more for "pull-out" fees.

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