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In this section…
Gold Star program for proper waste sorting
About the project
The City of Guelph is testing a Gold Star recognition program as part of the regular curbside waste cart inspection program. The program aims to help the community improve how they sort their household waste so the right waste goes to the right places. .
What to expect
If your neighbourhood is selected for a curbside inspection, City staff will look in your waste carts to determine if you’re sorting your waste properly. Properly sorted carts will get a Gold Star sticker to recognize your efforts.
Proper waste sorting is a crucial part of sustainability, as separating materials that can be recycled (blue cart) or composted (green cart) reduces the volume of material sent to landfill. This preserves landfill capacity for the future, recovers nutrients and valuable materials, and significantly reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
The City began piloting the Gold Star program in the summer of 2023 and will continue implementing the program into the Fall.
Yes, we look through your garbage
The City of Guelph inspects and audits residential waste carts on a random basis throughout the year. Our Waste Management by-law (2019)-20392 authorizes City staff or contractors working for the City to look through waste carts placed at the curb to see if people are sorting their waste properly. Staff or contractors will always carry identification.
What are we looking for?
We’re looking for anything that might be in the wrong cart. That includes items that don’t belong in any of your carts like household hazardous waste. We use this information to understand how often people mis-sort items and whether there are common items that enhanced communication could address. Proper sorting keeps the people who collect and sort your garbage safe, and helps avoid high tax increases by minimizing interruptions at the sorting facility due to mis-sorted items. In some cases, after someone has checked your carts they’ll leave some information like a door hanger or brochure to let you know if something was out of place so you know the right place for it next time. And if you’re sorting right, we may just want to say we noticed and we appreciate your efforts. Thanks for being a good sort, Guelphites!
Questions about sorting? Visit the City’s Waste Wizard.
For more information
Solid Waste Resources