The Regional Municipality Of York

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York Region residents continue strong engagement in waste reduction initiatives

Report highlights progress made on SM4RT Living Plan’s 4Rs of reduce, reuse, recycle and recover

Newmarket – It’s those everyday behaviour-changing habits by residents and businesses that have York Region’s SM4RT Living Plan on track to address the 4Rs (reduce, reuse, recycle and recover) and zero in on its long-term efforts to reduce waste.

The Balanced Scorecard report provides an update on all 32 initiatives outlined in the SM4RT Living Integrated Waste Management Plan including achievements between 2014 and 2017.

“A five per cent decline in waste after only four years of implementing the SM4RT Living Plan is encouraging news,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “This report celebrates the efforts of residents and our local cities and towns while identifying ways we can improve for the future.”

York Region is one of the first municipalities in Canada to commit to targets on waste reduction and continues to rank first among large municipalities in Ontario for waste diversion. In the most recent ranking, the Region was first overall in the province.

York Region actively participates in waste reduction pilots and programs as part of this plan. Between 2014 and 2017 initiatives include:

  • Reducing waste through backyard composting, yard waste and Good Food programs
  • Reuse activities focusing on curbside giveaways events, textile collection and repair cafés
  • Recycling activities with 13 pilot programs including work with multi-residential buildings and waste-related advocacy meetings
  • Recovering resources from waste at its end of life through high-performing facilities such as the Durham York Energy Centre

“York Region’s leadership is encouraging others to adopt long-term strategies to tackle waste reduction,” said City of Vaughan Regional Councillor Mario Ferri, Chair of Environmental Services. “Our residents are at the heart of these initiatives. Over the past four years, thousands of residents have participated in activities focused on reducing waste.”

York Region will soon be conducting a five-year review to set priorities for the SM4RT Living Plan including review of legislation and strategy to adapt to regulatory changes, assessing emerging technology and prioritizing a work plan for the next five years.

For more information on the SM4RT Living Plan, visit

The Regional Municipality of York consists of nine local cities and towns, and provides a variety of programs and services to 1.2 million residents and 51,000 businesses with 620,000 employees. More information about the Region’s key service areas is available at

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Media Contact:
Masrine Guthrie-Peart, Corporate Communications, The Regional Municipality of York
Phone:  1-877-464-9675  ext. 77272 or
Cell: 905-251-6416

York Region; waste reduction; SM4RT Living Plan; reduce; reuse; recycle The Regional Municipality of York en-US Media Release