Things are picking up in Trent Lakes

·2 min read

Trent Lake roadways are greener and cleaner thanks to the combined efforts of residents who rallied together last month as part of the municipality’s Clean Roadways for Earth Day campaign.

From April 15 to 30, 52 Trent Lakes residents pitched in, volunteering their time and effort to pick up trash and recyclable items from more than 20 municipal roads within the township in northwestern in Peterborough County.

The initiative resulted in a roadway cleanup just in time for Ontario’s annual Provincial Day of Action on Litter, which was recognized on Tuesday. The province estimates that 10,000 tonnes of plastic debris end up in Ontario’s lakes and rivers every year.

Over Trent Lakes’ two-week cleanup blitz, 54 bags worth of litter were cleared from municipal roadways, including 42 bags of garbage and a dozen bags of recycling, according to a press release from the municipality.

In a bid to attract volunteers for this year’s roadway cleaning, the municipality entered the names of participants into a draw for a free FoodCycler unit.

Trent Lakes resident Marty Kusluski took home the prize. The FoodCycler is an at-home closed-loop countertop composter. The device takes food scraps — eggshells, banana peels, vegetable bits and more — and grinds them into a dry, odourless and nutrients-rich byproduct that can be added to indoor plants or outdoor gardens.

The units are designed to be used in concert with backyard composting — they aren’t meant as a replacement.

“Our residents have really shown their passion and commitment to reducing waste and creating a long-term impact on environmental protection,” stated Chelsea Carpenter, supervisor of waste and public works co-ordinator for the township.

“So, we wanted to create an event to both support these initiatives and thank them for what they do.”

In 2021, after teaming up with Food Cycle Science, the municipality launched a waste diversion pilot program, encouraging residents to purchase FoodCycler units.

Since then, more than 400 households in the community are using the device — diverting waste from landfills in the process — so far, according to the municipality.

As a result, some 96 tonnes of food waste is being diverted from Trent Lakes’ landfills each year, the township estimates.

Of all waste materials from residential, commercial, industrial and institutional locations, 70 per cent end up in landfills, while 30 per cent is diverted through blue box, green bins and leaf and yard waste collection programs, according to the provincial government.

Brendan Burke is a staff reporter at the Examiner, based in Peterborough. His reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.

Brendan Burke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Peterborough Examiner