Reducing your waste footprint can start with easy steps like using a travel mug and refillable water bottle, and keep your reusable shopping bags on hand.

Trash talk: Time to take the recycling challenge!

Residents currently divert less than 20 per cent of recyclable material from the landfill

You may have noticed that the ACRD has increased its efforts to promote recycling here in the Alberni Valley.

Weekly tips in the newspaper, surveys, interactive recycling displays at community events, an updated and improved website, and face-to-face interactions through workshops and public events.

There’s even a waste reduction educator who’s available to come present “The Story of Waste” to schools, community organizations, offices.

So, what’s all the fuss about?

It’s because the Alberni Valley throws away more than most places in BC.

In fact, 2017 was the peak of waste generation at 672 kilograms of garbage per person.

That means that on average, each person throws away 1.8 kg or 4 pounds of garbage every day! And all of this material is going to the Alberni Valley Landfill.

Is this a big deal? Yes.

It’s very high when you look at the average in BC, which is only is 549 kg per person. We’ve begun to reduce this with 2018 seeing a drop to 657 kg of garbage per person per day.

Recycle your recyclables

The Alberni Valley isn’t recycling what it could be. Currently, Valley residents divert less than 20 per cent of recyclable material from the landfill. In contrast, some of our neighbouring communities have rates hovering around 65 per cent.

The 2019 waste composition study revealed that 47 per cent of the garbage was made of recyclable material!

It’s easy to do your part:

  • If you currently have curbside recycling, familiarize yourself with the additional items the recycling depots collect (3rd Ave. takes all types of “ugly” plastics, strands of Christmas lights, small appliances, batteries, etc.).
  • Look for the helpful handout on curbside and depot recycling available at 3rd Ave., the ACRD office or online.
  • Think about reducing your waste footprint and start with some easy steps: use a travel mug, a refillable water bottle, and keep your reusable shopping bags on hand.
  • Pay attention to how much packaging your purchase has. Sometimes suitable alternatives have significantly less packaging.

Through our product purchases we pay in advance for the costs of recycling in BC, so the ACRD’s recycling services are free of charge, yet the depots are still being under-utilized.

The provincial and regional governments are working to make recycling easier for us all, and these efforts provide a great opportunity to learn and change our behaviours.

Learn more about Extended Producer Responsibility services in the Alberni Valley or the updated handout on curbside versus depot recycling facilities at acrd.bc.ca/recycling. If you’d like the waste reduction educator to speak to your organization, community group or classroom, email recycling@acrd.bc.ca

READ MORE: Why recycling works in the Valley

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