Mono holds town hall, discusses recycling, EVs & new bylaw

November 13, 2020   ·   0 Comments

By Peter Richardson

The Town of Mono held it’s first virtual town hall meeting the evening of Nov. 5 and though some residents were unimpressed with the format, it was an unequivocal success.

Opening shortly past7 p.m., the first item on the two part agenda was presentation of Mono’s new plastic bag bylaw, by deputy clerk Fred Simpson. Approved in January of 2020, the bylaw, in a nutshell, will ban the use of all single use plastic bags in the town, starting in January 2021. 

The problem of single use plastic bags is not a new one. They can travel in the wind great distances and can be a hazard to wildlife and pets alike. When improperly discarded, they are an eyesore and they are generally not recyclable. Mono’s answer, is simple, Bring Your Own Bag! The bylaw prohibits any business to provide single use plastic bags at check outs. This includes bags for take out foods. Patrons must bring their own reusable bags. A reusable bag is one with handles and is designed to be used 100 times or more. 

Now there are some exceptions to the ban. A business may provide a bag, if requested by the shopper, provided it is paper and it has to be paid for by the shopper. Anyone bringing their own bags may not be refused service either.

Single use bags may also be used for wrapping frozen foods, loose or bulky items, such as fruit or nuts and for loose hardware such as nails, or nuts and bolts. Thy may be used to protect non pre-packaged baked goods or for flowers or potted plants. In addition, thy may be used for large items such as bedding, for newspapers, dry cleaning and of course pet wastes. The bylaw also has teeth. Businesses that do not comply will be fined $500 for a first offence and $500 for each subsequent offence, to a maximum of $10,000.

Next up on the agenda, was Melissa Kovacs -Reid, the manager of waste services for the County of Dufferin. She presented  a detailed overview of the County’s waste management procedures, particularly as they pertained to recycling. 

There are eight municipalities in Dufferin County and currently they are serviced with garbage pick-up, blue boxes, green bins and yard waste pick-up. Also there are the bi-annual battery collection days and Household Hazardous Waste and e-waste events. The County has their Take it Back Program, the Dufferin Waste app, P&E materials, Waste reduction education programmes and various campaigns and special events.

The Long Term Waste Management Strategy of the County states, in it’s mission statement, that the plan is to update and enhance the waste management system to maximize the diversion of waste from disposal in an economic, environmentally and socially responsible manner. They hope to accomplish this through waste reduction, the optimization of existing programs and the introduction of new waste diversion opportunities.

At this point, Melissa, who has been with the County for the past 20 years, outlined one of the major priorities of the program – edible waste. Around 29 percent of green bin contents, is edible waste, in other words, food that could have been eaten rather than thrown out, but was not. The other 55 percent is classified as inedible waste, such as peelings, egg shells, bones etc.with the balance being soiled paper products such as pizza boxes. She also pointed out that 25 percent of garbage is also organics. Reducing food waste, said Melissa would save the average household up to $1,500 per year. We should be consuming these healthy foods and prevent edible food waste from entering the waste system. This would reduce the amount of methane produced in landfills and reduce the carbon footprint.

So what can we do? One obvious thing is to not over shop. Buying what you know you can consume greatly reduces leftovers and edible food waste. How many times have you purchased more of a fresh item than you had time to eat before it spoiled? The road to hell is paved with good intentions, they say. Many shoppers have intentions to perhaps eat more salad, only to find that life got in the way and that big head of lettuce they bought is now a rather slimy addition to the green bin. The County has some suggestions, in their Plan To Save, Reduce Food Waste campaign, available at

Melissa then went on to discuss the issue of plastics. She made the point that there is a difference between recyclable and acceptable. Although there are seven categories of recyclable plastics, Dufferin only accepts six of them. They recycle one through five and type seven, but not six, which is film plastics, such as bags. The reason simply comes down to economics. There is no current market for recycled film plastic items, so the recyclers do not want these items. If they cannot make a profit with an item, there is no incentive to use it. To reduce plastic waste, there are various solutions. the first being to limit the purchase of unnecessary plastic like packaging and film plastics. Buy in bulk, but reuse the containers and try to buy fresh not frozen. Most frozen foods are film plastic packaged. Avoid single use plastics. Reuse containers, rather than plastic bags or film wrap for storage and use refillable water bottles, mugs, straws, cutlery and bags, rather than disposable ones. 

At this point the discussion was opened up for questions and Coun. Sharon Martin noted that she had seen on Facebook, a process of making mats from potato chip bags. Mellissa explained that to do this profitably would require a large manufacturing facility, but that these were the types of ideas that will improve and expand recycling efforts. 

The final presentation, was made by Kenneth Bokor, host of the EV Revolution, on Youtube and the Chapter Lead of the Caledon Chapter of the Electric Vehicle Society. His presentation, naturally, was on the rise of the electric vehicle in the automotive industry. He began by noting that electric cars were not a new invention, in fact, they have existed since the 1800s . Thomas Edison was involved in producing electric cars in the late 1800s, but the decision by Henry Ford to use the internal combustion engine, or ICE, was what put the brakes on electric vehicle production. Electric vehicles, are simply conventional vehicles powered by electric motors, up to four of them as a rule. Their power is stored in batteries and they provide the driver with instant torque, resulting in strong and smooth acceleration. GM produced perhaps the first mainstream electric car between 1996 and 1999, called the EV-1 and of course there was the Lunar Rover, which still resides on the moon, awaiting a driver.

There are various types of electric propulsion, the Hybrid, uses both internal combustion and electric power, the Plug in Hybrid which is rechargeable and has a much greater electric range and of course the entirely electric powered vehicles. The first mass produced worldwide electric vehicle was the Nissan Leaf, debuting in 2010. Over half a million of these were sold in the world. Perhaps the best know however, is the Tesla, with its three models, the Roadster, the Model S and the Model 3. 

Th advantages to ownership, beyond bragging rights, are primarily economic. Insurance costs are lower, there is virtually no maintenance required mechanically, and fuel costs are significantly lower.In two and a half years, Kenneth estimated his total charging cost for 45,000 kms, was $1,000 and that included some public charging station usage when traveling. For those of us who travel large distances regularly however, the charging time and the relative scarcity of charging stations is still a serious drawback.

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