3.14.2007

green bin comes to mississauga

Our green recycling bin was delivered yesterday, the next step in the long-range plan for waste in the Peel Region.

First, some months back, we were able to combine all our recycling into one bin - paper, plastic, glass, foil.

Next, we received several information bulletins about organics recycling, what it would look like, how it would work, when it would be implemented.

Then yesterday our green bins were delivered: one large container with wheels and a locking cap for the garage, and a smaller container with a lid for the kitchen. The contents of our collective green bins will be composted.

Organics recycling for Peel begins on April 2. In October, the three-bag standard for garbage - that is, how many bags of trash you can leave at curbside for pick-up - will be reduced to two. The eventual goal is to divert 70% of Peel's trash from landfill by 2016.

People who already have green-bin recycling have told me that their weekly trash output is one grocery bag's worth of garbage each week. Between the various recycling containers, I think we'll hardly have any garbage at all.

Many wmtc commenters already have green-bin recycling, but many other readers don't, and I had never heard of it before moving to Canada. It fairly amazes me. Delivery of these large, sturdy containers to every home in this sprawling region amazes me.

In fact, the whole regional landfill diversion plan, and the progressive attitude towards recycling, amaze me. It's fantastic.

But it's also so frustrating that we - all of us - didn't start thinking this way a long time ago, and that so much of the world still does not.

Since our trip to Peru last year, I always imagine that beautiful country filling up with plastic water bottles. An economy dependent on tourism, plus unhealthy, undrinkable water, plus no plastics recycling, equals millions upon millions of plastic water bottles. Where are they all going?

Then I imagine all the countries of the earth, filling up with plastics.

7 comments:

Miche said...

If you're the slightest bit curious about taking things one step further, have a look at Sarah's blog Say No To Trash. Earlier this year she went a whole month without making any garbage (and only allowed herself minimal recycling).

Idealistic Pragmatist said...

Edmonton has been recycling 80% of its garbage--in "blue boxes" similar to the Peel region's "green bins"--since before I got here 10 years ago. It's something I've dragged out every time people make the assumption that my adopted city is nothing but a conservative backwater.

It's really quite an impressive system, isn't it?

L-girl said...

It's really quite an impressive system, isn't it?

Very!

When we first moved here and were getting up to speed with the recycling program, I blogged about it more than once, as I was so struck by it. A commenter told me recycling in Alberta is voluntary, not mandatory, province-wide. So that's not true?

L-girl said...

Miche, thanks for the link. I noticed it from your blog, but I'm sure other readers will want to take a look at that.

Scott M. said...

Guelph was the pioneer in this stuff, having run a Wet/Dry system since 1995.

In the Wet/Dry system, all compostables ("Wet") gets put in a transparent green bag and all non compostables ("Dry") gets put in a transparent blue bag.

Both bags are brought to sorting facilities where garbage is taken out of the stream and the rest is recycled or composted.

Later on, Guelph introduced the Wet/Dry+ system which essentially put the responsibility of sorting out the garbage back in the hands of the user, resulting in a clear bag for landfill along with the green and blue transparent bags.

Some communities in New Brunswick have adopted their own Wet/Dry system, and have expanded it featuring the first ever recycle-a-sneaker program with Nike, the first ever recycle a Tim Hortons Coffee Cup, as well as cell phone and computer recycling.

I personally prefer the Wet/Dry system as it's easy to remember and guarantees you have the maximum diversion rates (diversion rates are gauged by the efficiency of the system and not the compliance of the end user).

Gwen said...

We had basic recycling in the Seattle suburbs when I was a kid, but since then I've lived so many places that didn't have recycling at all. Now I'm back in Seattle and it's good to be able to easily recycle again.

The green bin sounds brilliant. I compost most food waste, but people in apartments can't, and it never occurred to me to compost paper towels, etc. Hmm...

I'm mostly impressed by the variety of compostable bags on the website - it's like pulling teeth here to find anything like that for my kitchen composter.

James said...

Raccoons are doing a pretty good job of chewing through our green bin. They haven't made it all the way through, though, because they've figured out how to unlock it by tipping it over backwards so the latch flips open. We've started wedging it into a corner out back, but it's getting to the point where it's almost has difficult for us to get into the thing as them!