Did you know that the Alberni Clayoquot Regional District produces more waste than surrounding areas on Vancouver Island, but diverts far less?
In fact, the Alberni Valley currently diverts less than 20 per cent of recyclable material. In contrast, some neighbouring communities have rates hovering around 65 per cent.
In an effort to better understand the recycling challenge, the ACRD conducted a waste composition study last summer that showed where significant improvements can be made.
During the waste audit, random garbage bags were picked apart and every item classified into various categories. The audit revealed that 47 per cent of the garbage volume was made up of recyclable material!
A further breakdown of recyclable material showed:
- Plastic – 21 per cent
- Paper – 13 per cent
- Metal – 5 per cent
- Electronic waste – 5 per cent
- Glass 3 – per cent
The other primary component that was found was organics – food waste and compostables – which accounted for a full 27 per cent of audited garbage.
Taken together with the recyclables, that means that almost 74 per cent of the waste stream does not need to be going to the landfill!
Waste diversion goal: 50 per cent
The goal the ACRD has set for diversion of waste through recycling and composting is 50 per cent. “This rate should be easily attainable for the community if residents all do their individual piece and pay attention to the wealth of readily available recycling tips and materials,” says Anna Lewis, Waste Reduction Educator with the ACRD.
Recycling is the place to start.
“Please do your part by recycling containers and paper products in the curbside program. Styrofoam, glass and flexible plastics are also recyclable at 3rd Avenue or the Landfill Recycling Depots (where they also accept containers and paper products if you don’t have curbside service). Remember that materials must be clean in order to recycle them.
For detailed information on local recycling, including easy-to-print handouts, visit acrd.bc.ca/recycling or if you’re interested in having the waste reduction educator come speak to your organization, community group or classroom, email email@example.com.