Posted Jan 24, 2013 By Michelle Nash

EMC news – Residents had a chance to weigh in on the city’s new waste-diversion program last week.

The city held four recycling fairs at community centres in Barrhaven, Kanata, Orléans and Heron Gate Jan. 19.

Residents were offered a pancake breakfast while they filled out a questionnaire as well as picked up some handouts concerning waste-management strategies.

Environment committee chairwoman, Maria McRae attended the fair in Heron Gate at the Jim Durrell Recreation Centre on Walkley Rd.

“We are doing this because it’s interesting to see what is on people’s minds,” McRae said.

“They (residents) have had three months to let us know how it has been going and we want to hear what they think about our long-term, waste-management strategies.”

The questionnaire was available to fill out on IPads at the fairs.

McRae referred to herself as a champion when it comes to recycling and green bin use, and said as she continues to sort her garbage, which she has noticed the amount of packaging some food comes in.

“At the end of two weeks, all I have is a garbage bag full of plastic packaging, it makes you think about what you are purchasing,” she said.

Food packaging is one aspect the councillor said she is interested in receiving feedback.

“I would like to see what the public has to say about packaging,” McRae said. “Should the city be dealing with businesses on packaging?”

Aside from packaging concerns, other questions in the survey asked residents what they feel the city’s future role should be concerning waste management on a provincial and federal level, what residents feel is fair for services and households to pay concerning waste management provided by the city, the amount of waste a household provides and to what level residents are willing to commit regarding their own waste management and whether the city and businesses should form a partnership when it comes to waste management or whether businesses should take a more active role in waste management.

McRae said the fair were held on the early Saturday morning at local community centres to reach out to early morning hockey and skating families.

McRae added that at one point the entire front foyer of the centre was filled with hockey bags while families participated in the questionnaire and ate the pancakes.

“It has been working out really well,” she said.

Jarrett Chalmers and his two daughters, Landry and Chloe were one of those families who attended, in between hockey games.

“One just played and we are waiting for the other to go on the ice,” Chalmers said.

The three ate some pancakes and participated in the questionnaire as well as some of the kid-friendly activities.

Chalmers said the information is important, but for his family, they have been on the reuse, reduce and recycle path for quite some time.

“We really saw no change when the city changed the garbage pick up,” he said. “We recycle everything.”

For residents who did not attend the recycling fair, the questionnaire is available online at