A first of its kind for London and Canada, the city is starting a pilot project to reduce the amount of hard-to-recycle and non-recyclable plastics that end up in landfills.

The Heft Energy Bag Pilot Project aims to divert plastic away from landfills by giving Londoners a third recycling option, aside from paper and plastic.

“We are estimating anywhere from three to five per cent of these materials could be transferred into an orange bag, but on a volume base it could be anywhere from 10 and upwards of 20 per cent,” said Jay Stanford, director of environment fleet and solid waste for the City of London.

The project was launched six weeks ago, with 13,000 London households participating in a curbside pickup or EnviroDepot drop off.

This allows people to put hard-to-recycle and non-recyclable plastic items like food pouches, candy wrappers and pet food bags into an orange bag, which the city will pick up as part of regular curbside recycling.

“What happens is sometimes people think these are recyclable items and place them in the blue box and that does contaminate the traditional recyclable materials,” said Stanford.

“That’s why this is completely separate.”

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