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In 1999, Markham became the first municipality in York Region to offer public space recycling to its residents. Since this time, the Town has expanded its Silver Box Public Space Recycling Program to over 150 locations within Markham - at transit stops and street corners.
The Silver Box public space recycling containers used in Markham have three slots to collect landfill waste, cans and bottles and paper separately. Designed to reduce litter and increase recycling, these bins make it easy and fun to recycle away from home.
Please do your part and place your waste in the proper receptacles. Your effort really does make a difference in the amount of waste that is recycled.
Markham has an expansive public space recycling program. This includes 450 recycling containers in our Parks and sport fields. There are also organics containers at our leash free dog parks for collection of pet waste. The Parks recycling containers accept all Blue Box recyclable's, which can be mixed together because they are sorted after collection at the recycling facility.
In 2011, Markham officially launched the use of Big Blue Belly solar compactors in its two heritage business improvement areas – Markham and Unionville Main Streets. Markham introduced 12 Big Blue Belly recycling units in each community in order to increase sidewalk recycling options and keep our busy Main Streets clean.
The Big Blue Belly is a solar powered outdoor recycling receptacle which will compact recyclable's down to one-fifth of the regularly-collected volume. When the contents of the Big Blue Belly unit reach a certain level, they are automatically compacted, making room for more. In addition to solar-activated compaction, each unit is equipped with wireless software that can alert Markham staff via computer when the container is full and needs to be emptied.
The Big Blue Belly unit takes up as much space as the "footprint" of an ordinary recycling receptacle; however, its capacity is five times greater. Increased capacity reduces collection trips and can cut fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions by 80%. Markham is making a highly innovative use of renewable power to improve municipal operations and reduce costs.
Safe, easy to use, and designed to keep out pests, the Big Belly has already proven its worth in urban streets, parks, colleges, arenas—and in all weather conditions. The Big Belly units are being used for garbage collection in Philadelphia, Boston, New York and the Town of Banff, Alberta. Markham is the first municipality in North America to use Big Blue Belly solar powered compactor units to collect recyclable's, rather than waste.