Guelph wins WDO’s first Ron Lance Memorial Award for highest residential waste diversion rate in Ontario

Waste Diversion Ontario (WDO) announced today that the City of Guelph achieved the best residential waste diversion rate in 2012. The residential waste diversion rate is the percentage of Blue Box and other residential garbage reported to WDO that is kept out of landfill. Reports with amounts of these materials are submitted by over 400 municipalities across Ontario under WDO’s annual Municipal Datacall.

Guelph took the top spot with an overall residential waste diversion rate of 67.72 per cent, well above the 2012 provincial average of 47.19 per cent. Guelph also came in first overall in 2012 for diverting the highest percentage of residential organic waste at 31.63 per cent of all residential waste in their program. In 2011, Guelph’s residential waste diversion rate was 48.84 per cent. The 19 percent increase over 2012 can be largely attributed to 2012 being the first full year of reporting on Guelph’s reactivated organics program.

In recognition of these results, Guelph will become the first recipient of the annual Ron Lance Memorial Award announced in November 2013. For seven years, Mr. Lance managed WDO’s Municipal Datacall, a role that involved working closely with municipalities, First Nations and recycling associations to compile and verify program data and tonnage reports from all Ontario municipal recycling programs. His work on the Datacall helped WDO to develop one of North America’s leading databases on residential garbage collection. Mr. Lance passed away in October 2013.

“Congratulations to Guelph for being the best in Ontario in 2012 at keeping residential waste out of landfill,” said Michael Scott, CEO, Waste Diversion Ontario. “Guelph should be proud of its significant progress since 2011 and of the many people who have helped to make their recycling program such a success.”

“Guelph’s receipt of the Ron Lance Memorial Award is a fitting tribute to the man who played such a key role in managing the data that help determine the winner,” added Scott. “Each year, we will remember Ron with this award and help to keep his memory alive.”

Guelph will officially receive the first Ron Lance Memorial Award at an upcoming Council meeting.

“I’m thrilled that Guelph is the best in the province when it comes to waste diversion,” said Karen Farbridge, Mayor of Guelph. “This success rests on many shoulders. I’d like to thank City Council for its commitment to the organics facility and other waste diversion programs; City staff for their excellent management of solid waste resources; and residents for sorting their waste diligently every day.”

Each year, WDO requires municipalities to complete the Municipal Datacall to be eligible for funding for the Blue Box Program. In addition, WDO requests the submission of tonnage data for all other waste materials the municipality oversees, including hazardous or special waste, electrical and electronic equipment, organics, garbage, and other materials.

About WDO
Waste Diversion Ontario ( is the not-for-profit organization funded by industry that oversees Ontario’s current recycling programs for electrical and electronic equipment, used tires, Blue Box material, and hazardous or special waste.



Filed under Takin' out the Trash

4 responses to “Guelph wins WDO’s first Ron Lance Memorial Award for highest residential waste diversion rate in Ontario

  1. Ron

    That’s great!!

    Meanwhile the city can’t figure how to accommodate condominiums under the grand waste collection scheme.

    What a joke!!

  2. Susan

    Avoid the generalizations. I live in a condominium and we have had cart pickup by the city for a year, with absolutely no problems. It’s a much easier system than bags, and saves the bags going into landfill.
    Praise to the city where praise is due, please.

  3. Ron

    Susan….it is great that it the cart system works well for your condo, but many other condominiums have been unable to find a workable solution to utilize the cart system. I am guessing you have a garage or driveway for your unit where you can store the carts.
    What works in your complex doesn’t work for others.

  4. Dennis Galon

    Ron, it is you simplistic observation (“What a joke!!”), in response to a truly great achievement involving everyone in the city (for the key to diversion is separation at the household level), that provoked Susan’s corrective.

    Why do you now feel compelled to diminish her observation with wild guesses?

    Sure the condominium issue is a real problem, but put this in context. Obviously the bin system was designed for single family dwellings, and not for condominiums. But Guelph was forced to bins by the province refusing to allow plastic bags for compost. I don’t know what the solution is for condominiums are are currently not involved in the city pickup, but it is not a matter of stupidity or incompetence as your remark implies.

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