The Alberni-Clayquot Regional District recycling team was on-hand at the Alberni District Fall Fair to raise awareness about the opportunities for easy, free recycling in the Valley.

Too much trash … is a problem for all!

Reducing waste is easy and FREE – here’s what you need to know

Just what goes into your trash bin? Your quick answer might be “garbage,” but consider what you’re really tossing away?

Plastics? Glass? Nutrient-rich compostables? How about hazardous waste, like batteries and paint?

A huge amount of what goes into residents’ garbage is in fact easily recycled at the 3rd Avenue Depot, notes Jenny Brunn, Manager of Operations at the Alberni-Clayquot Regional District.

Here’s why it matters:

On average, Alberni Valley residents send 18.6 million kilograms or 41 million pounds of waste to the Alberni Valley landfill every year. That’s 2kg or 4.5 pounds per person per day, including building and renovation materials, food waste, yard waste and many items that could have been recycled!

In fact, so much recyclable material is going to the landfill that the Alberni Valley is only recycling 20 per cent of its waste, compared to neighbouring areas that recycle between 50 and 70 per cent.

Definitely NOT the statistic the Valley wants to be known for.

“There is a huge opportunity to increase participation in our recycling services,” says Brunn says. “This will reduce waste and extend the life of our landfill which saves the community money and reduces our impact on the environment. It’s an easy win if we can get residents to engage in the upcoming waste reduction program.”

How easy is it?

You may have noticed the ACRD recycling team in action at last weekend’s Alberni District Fall Fair, where they showcased just how easy it is for residents to vastly reduce their waste.

Recent discussions about the impact of plastics on the environment point to an important first step: Reduce. That means considering packaging and not buying more than you need, to simply turn around and get rid of it. Next, can you repurpose items, using them in a new way in your home or donating them?

Those things you have used and no long need can often be recycled directly in your free curbside recycling, including hard plastics and paper products, but many more can be quickly, easily and safely recycled at the 3rd Avenue Depot. And it’s FREE!

These include flexible plastics, like plastic bags, glass, Styrofoam and household hazardous waste, like paint and lightbulbs.

For those with gardens, proper composting can not only eliminate kitchen waste from the household garbage stream, but provide valuable, nutrient-rich compost for your garden!

Yard waste is also easily compostable – take yours to the local landfill for free.

How can you make a difference?

Alberni Valley residents have a wide variety of ways to reduce their waste … and spread the word!

  • Visit the rcbc.ca/recyclepedia/search to quickly learn what you can recycle where, or download the free app for your smartphone
  • Invite waste educators to your group meetings
  • Participate in the door-to-door survey coming this fall in your neighborhood

For more information on recycling options in the Alberni Valley, visit acrd.bc.ca/recycling

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