The Ripple Effect of Recycling

I consider the many issues and challenges our society has as a whole.  In the Lower Mainland, we grapple with many complex and diverse issues such as affordable housing, a diverse economy, saving agricultural land, saving industrial land, homelessness – the list goes on. My life for the last 23 years has focused on the world of recycling and waste diversion, or “regional sustainability” in the grander scheme.  I am certainly very proud of what our company does and proud of the diversion results and sustainability goals we have helped our clients achieve.  23 years ago recycling and waste diversion ...

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Organics: The Next Generation of Waste Diversion in Metro Vancouver

The next scheduled item to be banned from Metro Vancouver landfills, will be organics.  If commitments to this policy are kept, as of 2015 all loads dumped that contain excessive organic content will be hit with a hefty surcharge.  This means that businesses, single-family and multi-family dwellings will have to focus on getting their organics out of the garbage.  Metro Vancouver has had a 20 year history of prioritizing diversion by banning materials from landfill (paper, beverage containers, electronics etc.), focusing on public engagement, and proactively enforcing recycling rules at garbage transfer stations, disposal facilities and even licensed recycling facilities, ...

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That Doesn’t Go There!

John Kendler – Special Guest Blogger One of my key tasks at Urban Impact is monitoring the quality of the blue box recyclables we receive. This is done through regular material “audits” – a fancy word for taking a sample of material, sorting through it and weighing each category. These audits provide us with a lot of important information, such as the changing composition of material in the blue box mix. Over the last few years, for example, we have noticed increases in the use of PET (plastic labeled #1) and polypropylene (plastic labeled #5) packaging, along with decreases in ...

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Will the plastic shopping bag ever go away?

  I am lucky enough to be on holiday in eastern Ontario, enjoying amazing weather and lake country scenery.  I feel very blessed. Yesterday we boated into town to pick up some supplies and I found myself in the drug store, gathering up a few items and checking out.  The check out clerk was genuinely helpful and dutifully put my few belongings in a plastic bag. I remarked quickly “Please no bag, I can carry out those items without a bag”. Check out Clerk “Don’t worry, I did not charge you for the bag.” I remark back “Thanks, I am not ...

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