Cobourg approves coffee pod and cigarette butt recycling program

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Six-month pilot will see collection point at the Cobourg Community Centre and waste being collected from the Downtown Business Improvement Area.

COBOURG — Getting rid of used coffee or tea pods from any single serve machine is about to get a lot easier in Cobourg.

A six-month pilot project has been approved by Council, paving the way for a coffee pod recycling box to be placed at the Cobourg Community Centre, and the collection of cigarette butts from the Downtown Business Improvement Area.

The project was undertaken by the Environmental Advisory Committee which struck a sub-committee to review programs offered by TerraCycle Recycling, after Cobourg resident Diana Storen made a presentation to Cobourg and Northumberland County councils.

For the recycling of cigarettes and associated garbage, the items have to be sealed in a cardboard box and picked up by a courier for TerraCycle with free shipping.

“I think it’s an important program and a pilot project at Northumberland County.” Cobourg Mayor Gil Brocanier

To recycle used coffee pods, a TerraCycle box which holds 1,200 pods will be purchased for $136 and once filled will be picked up by a courier free of charge.

According to Councillor Forrest Rowden, Ms. Storen has offered to volunteer and is willing to do some of the legwork for the community.

“I think if we can get this off the ground we might be able to clean up some cigarette butts that are laying around,” he said.

While the cost of recycling cigarette butts and associated garbage is free, the Town estimates the pilot project will require four coffee pod boxes at a total cost of $541.

Once the project is reviewed in six months, Cobourg Mayor Gil Brocanier said the associated costs will be discussed with Northumberland County, which provides waste management services for the region.

“I think it’s an important program and a pilot project at Northumberland County,” he said during a committee of the whole meeting on Jan. 5. “They fully support what we’re doing here and (if) we make enough of a difference, that is something that can spread throughout the county.”

Asked by Councillor Brian Darling about the enforcement of littering cigarette butts under the Town’s bylaw, Mayor Brocanier said it is “entirely enforceable” if someone is seen throwing cigarette butts on the street.

“The bylaw was changed (three years ago) to make it enforceable,” he said, adding that while some bylaws are complaint driven, littering doesn’t have to be. “There are certain bylaws that we don’t proactively enforce because we don’t have the staff to do it. But when we have (bylaw enforcement officers) already in the area, there is no reason why they can’t address it.”

Read More: Coffee Pods Recycle

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