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Special to OWMA News


Markham City Council took a bold step last year to pass a bylaw that will ban textiles in residential garbage starting this April during Earth Week.

The City has partnered with the Salvation Army and the Canadian Diabetes Association to create new Markham-branded donation containers that will be deployed across the city to collect used clothing.

By April, the City intends to have 77 new donation containers set up across the community at various locations, including City Hall, recycling depots, community centres, fire halls and multi-residential buildings.

By providing convenient, accessible drop-off sites for residents, the City hopes to increase the diversion of textiles and used clothing, which currently comprise 7% of landfilled waste.

Markham’s decision to transition to a clear bag requirement for residential garbage over a cart-based system will also allow the City to easily monitor if textiles are being thrown out in the garbage and control exactly what is being placed at the curb for disposal.

Additionally, rogue donation bins on private property will no longer be tolerated in Markham, and all such illegal textile containers will be seized and removed by the City.  

This initiative will deliver both environmental and economic results by increasing waste diversion and providing financial savings to Markham taxpayers of $86,000 each year in avoided collection costs.

To build on Markham’s efforts, the City has also called on the Ontario government to designate textiles and clothing as a stewardship material, similar to computers, tires and Blue Box materials.