Recycling to save the planet

According to the Recycling Council of B.C., more than 280 million beverage containers never made it to recycling centres last year. Although B.C. provides many ways to recycle empty containers, including recycling depots and return-to-retail operations with money-back incentives, some people still can’t be bothered to do the right thing.

Studies show that while most people recycle their containers most of the time, there’s one group that’s responsible for 87 per cent (or 242 million) of the containers that hit the trash, rather than the recycle bin. They are usually single, male and between 18 and 34 years of age.

“The push is really on to recycle as much as we can,” says Dennis Lebrie, environmental health safety technologist for the Thompson-Nicola Regional District. “I know it’s a lot of work, but they’re going to inherit the earth.”

Recycling has been available at the Sun Peaks transfer station since 2008 when the TNRD collected 840 metric tonnes of garbage and only 41.77 metric tonnes of recycling. In the time since, recycling has grown to 100.57 metric tonnes, while waste has gone down to 388 metric tonnes, proving that we’re doing something right at Sun Peaks.

While this dramatic reduction of waste and increase of recycling is impressive, we can always do more.
“We’re really quite pleased,” noted Lebrie. “We’d really like to bring that up to 50 per cent. That’s our goal, to ramp up and double what we’re recycling currently. It’s just so much better for the environment.”

The TNRD makes it easy for residents and visitors to recycle by providing a collection station at the Sun Peaks transfer station, located on Industrial Way. Simply put your recyclables in a see-through blue bag (keeping glass and cardboard separate) and drop them off during normal business hours.

For some people the additional cost of blue bags can be perceived as a barrier to recycling.

“If you don’t want to put it in a blue bag and you have a tote or a cardboard box, you can put all your stuff in that and you can dump it in the bin and keep the box, keep re-using it. You can get around the eight cents, that shouldn’t be a stumbling block,” commented Lebrie.

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