EDITORIAL: We need to step up our recycling efforts

As much as 60 per cent of items taken to landfill could be recycled

The Capital Regional District is down in the dumps over the results of a recent study.

In a waste composition study released in 2016, it was revealed that 32.2 per cent of trash coming from single-family homes is recyclable material including paper, cardboard, glass and plastic. When you add in the organic material and metals that end up in the Hartland Landfill, that figure climbs to more than 60 per cent of items from single family homes could be processed for re-use.

The numbers have prompted the CRD to reassess its solid waste management plan for the first time since 1995. The CRD is conducting public engagement sessions to better understand people’s needs, and comprise a plan to reduce solid waste going into the landfill by one third by 2030.

READ MORE: CRD aims to reduce solid waste going to Hartland Landfill by a third by 2030

But this is one issue where the blame falls more on us citizens than our elected representatives. We must all redouble our efforts to ensure our garbage is separated from organic waste, paper, plastic and other recyclables when we haul it out to the curb. Our tax dollars go toward the collection of trash and recyclables every two weeks, the least we can do is make sure that money is well spent.

The CRD is promising to roll out an education campaign to increase public awareness on what items can be recycled and where they should be taken. We owe it to ourselves – along with future generations – to make sure this campaign succeeds.

VIDEO: City of Victoria finds high numbers of single-use items in initial stages of garbage analysis

The Hartland landfill does still take a large portion of recyclables at its recycle depot, where residents can drop off recycling materials for free. According to a 2018 report, the recycling depot saw more than 547 tonnes of paper and cardboard, and more than nine tonnes of plastic collected. In 2015, the CRD implemented a ban on kitchen scraps to save space and reduce greenhouse gases. It is believed that organic components are the largest contributor to waste.

And you don’t even have to go to the effort of setting up a backyard compost bin (although that is a really great idea). It’s just a matter of separating your organic materials from the rest of your household trash and putting it into the green bin. It really is the least we can do.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CRDGarbagePlastic wastewaste disposal

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Police closed McNeill Avenue after a workplace death Oct. 20, 2020. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
UPDATED: Dangerous branches delay removal of body in Oak Bay workplace death

Traffic restricted on McNeill Avenue near Byng Road

The Turkey Head Walkway. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)
Oak Bay community sees untapped potential in Turkey Head

Part 3 of a closer look at Oak Bay Marina and Turkey Head

The West Shore RCMP released these images of a suspect as part of its investigation into a report of sexual assault on Sept. 17. (West Shore RCMP handout)
The West Shore RCMP released these images of a suspect as part of its investigation into a report of sexual assault on Sept. 17. (West Shore RCMP handout)
Sexual assault suspect sought by West Shore RCMP

Police are looking for help identifying this man

A bear similar to this black bear was spotted on Elk Lake Drive on Oct. 20 and is believed responsible for killing a llama in Saanich the night before. (Black Press Media file photo)
Bear spotted several times in Saanich likely to be euthanized

Conservation officers still searching for bear reported near Elk Lake Drive

The Better Business Bureau is warning people of scammers posing as Amazon customer support. (AP File Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Watch out for Amazon imposters, says scam expert

Better Business Bureau is warning of a rise in Amazon scammers as people online shop more

FILE – People wait in line at a COVID-19 testing facility in Burnaby, B.C., on Thursday, August 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
167 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death recorded as B.C. enters 2nd wave

Three new healthcare outbreaks also announced

Advance polls are open from Oct. 15 to 21 with election day on Oct. 24. (Black Press Media file photo)
This 2020 electron microscope image made available by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases shows a Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 particle isolated from a patient, in a laboratory in Fort Detrick, Md. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-NIAID/NIH via AP
At least 49 cases of COVID-19 linked to wedding in Calgary: Alberta Health

McMillan says the city of Calgary has recently seen several outbreaks linked to social gatherings

UBC geoscientists discovered the wreckage of a decades-old crash during an expedition on a mountain near Harrison Lake. (Submitted photo)
Wreckage of possibly decades-old airplane crash discovered on mountain near Harrison Lake

A team of UBC geoscientists discovered the twisted metal embedded in a glacier

The official search to locate Jordan Naterer was suspended Saturday Oct. 17. Photo courtesy of VPD.
‘I am not leaving without my son,’ says mother of missing Manning Park hiker

Family and friends continue to search for Jordan Naterer, after official efforts suspended

Bernard Trest and his son Max, 10, are concerned about B.C.’s plan for students in the classroom. He was one of two fathers who filed a court application in August to prevent schools from reopening if stricter COVID-19 protections weren’t in place. That application was dismissed last week. (Contributed photo)
B.C. dad pledges to appeal quashed call for mandatory masks, distancing in schools

Bernard Trest and Gary Shuster challenged health, education ministries’ return-to-school plan

RCMP crest. (Black Press Media files)
RCMP cleared in fatal shooting of armed Lytton man in distress, police watchdog finds

IIO spoke to seven civillian witnesses and 11 police officers in coming to its decision

A 34-year-old man was treated for a gunshot wound in Williams Lake Monday, Oct 19, 2020. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake man treated for gunshot wound after accidental shooting: RCMP

Police are reminding residents to ensure firearms are not loaded when handling them

A injection kit is seen inside the newly opened Fraser Health supervised consumption site is pictured in Surrey, B.C., Tuesday, June 6, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. records 127 fatal overdoses in September, roughly 4 each day

Vancouver, Surrey and Victoria continued to see the highest numbers of overdoses

Most Read