Changes could be coming to household recycling routines in Norfolk.Two waste-management consultants conducted an audit over two days last week at the county’s recycling facility on Grigg Drive in Simcoe.County staff will review their findings to determine whether adjustments to the system are warranted. This could translate into revisions of what the county’s contractor will and will not collect curbside.“Sometimes they’ll look at just the blue box,” Merissa Bokla, Norfolk’s supervisor of waste management, said in a news release.“Other times they’ll rip open garbage bags from the curbside and see if there’s recyclables in there. It gives you an idea because – otherwise – you don’t really know if your system is working and if the communication pieces that you’re putting out are working.”Whatever changes are pending, some things can already be said with certainty.For one, the 14 employees who work at the recycling facility appreciate households that take time to rinse away food material and other residue before putting items out for recycling. Nearly 5,000 tons of material pass through the Grigg Street facility each year and every piece is sorted by hand.As well, expect to hear more about what the county contractor – Norfolk Disposal of Waterford — will and will not collect curbside.Norfolk’s program, for example, is not set up to recycle complicated items such as old frying pans, toys and garden hoses.Other common household items such as propane tanks, clothes hangers and ice-cube trays also pose problems. Expect to hear more on this subject when Norfolk publishes its 2020 Waste Guide.“That’s called ‘wish-cycling,’ meaning that people put it in with the hope that we’ll recycle it,’” Bokla said. “But it ends up costing more money because it has to go through sorting and then ends up going to the landfill.”Norfolk public works also asks households to refrain from bagging materials for recycling.Bagging keeps items from blowing into the street but ultimately bags have to be ripped open and emptied. Bokla says this requires a lot of time and effort and is not an efficient way of processing the county’s recyclables.

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