Waterloo Region’s waste management department is patting residents on the back for an environmental milestone.

“Over the last two years, we have seen remarkable sorting improvement,” says waste coordinator Kathleen Barsoum. “Our residents are great sorters for both the blue box, and the green bin.”

The region says 65 per cent of all household waste is being diverted into recycling programs, and not sent to the landfill.

“Sixty-five per cent diversion rate, one of the best in Ontario,” Barsoum says.

The waste management division on Erb Street in Waterloo is a massive operation. The newest cell of landfill was opened in November of 2018, and should hold five years of garbage.

“We pack the garbage, we shape the garbage, and we cover it at the end of every day,” senior engineer Linda Churchill says. “It’s the final home for all of the garbage for the Region of Waterloo.”

Sorting garbage starts with homeowners.

“First of all we want to reduce as much as we can,” Churchill says. “Re-use everything we can, and recycle it in our blue box.”

The sorting centre further sorts recyclable materials left on the curb by residents. It then gets distributed to private companies to be re-used for new products.

The region also runs a green bin program for compostable materials. Homeowners can get one for their homes free of charge.

Learn more about the Region’s Waste Management operations during In Your Backyard with Stu Gooden on CTV News at 5.