EDITORIAL: Education key to glass pick-up

Many residents are unaware of current sorting requirements

Glass items may no longer be allowed in your blue bins, as early as next year.

The Capital Regional District is considering stopping the curbside collection in an attempt to bring down glass contamination and avoid a hefty fine. We hope the CRD board waits until their collection agreements expire in 2019 to enact a change. Anything beforehand just seems like a waste of money. Regardless what the CRD chooses to do, they could still be fined if the contamination numbers stay where they are. In the meantime, we hope the CRD spends more time educating residents on what to put in their blue bins.

While the CRD is waiting for more information from staff before making a decision, we have to question the logic behind ending curbside pick-up.

Residents are already required to separate their glass in its own specially marked bin before putting it on the curb with the rest of their recycling. However, there seems to be a lot of confusion on this fairly new policy, and many are unaware of it. This could be where most of the contamination is coming from. As more residents get on the same page, the contamination numbers should trend downwards to that safe percentage where the CRD won’t be fined.

It seems a simpler – and far less expensive – option would be to better educate residents on how to prepare their recycling for pick up.

People are busy, arguably now more than ever. While some will make a special trip to a depot to get rid of their glass containers, or make a special point of taking a few items to the grocery store with them, many will be more inclined just to throw it in the trash.

The whole point of the blue bin collection has been making recycling as easy as possible. And, while many of us find ourselves swearing in the morning while trying to wrangle mounds of recyclables, it is still pretty easy to just throw it on the curb for someone else to deal with.

Banning glass from blue bins will most likely mean that more of it will find its way into garbage bins and ultimately the landfill, which is exactly what the CRD claims it wants to avoid.

The CRD says that by banning glass, they will be creating more jobs at places where glass will be collected and sorted. But let’s be honest, are companies really going to take on the burden of paying someone to do that job?

If we go down that road we may find ourselves paying a deposit on all glass containers. Or we could find ourselves opting for other packaging so we don’t have to deal with the hassle.

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