Victoria, BC – Starting tomorrow, you might notice something a little different about the paper bag you get at four local Thrifty Foods stores. That’s because the Capital Regional District (CRD) has joined forces with Thrifty Foods in an effort to reduce the amount of plastic bags contaminating our fibre recycling stream by adding recycling tips to the back panels of paper bags. The paper bags that will be distributed for a limited time at four local stores - Colwood, Quadra, Hillside and Fairfield – include tips that remind residents that private papers can be shredded or torn and placed in a paper bag, cereal box or other non-corrugated box and then placed inside your CRD blue bag.
The CRD, along with International Paper Industries and Cascades Recovery, will launch a paper bag recycling campaign with Thrifty Foods on Wednesday, July 20, 2011 to promote proper recycling preparation at the curb. With increased sensitivities surrounding the recycling of private documents, many residents are shredding or placing these documents in plastic bags and then placing them at the curb. Plastic bags, however, cannot be accepted at the curb for recycling (or in paper recycling bins in multi-residential housing) as recycling loads end up being contaminated by them, which means the items once destined for recycling end up in the landfill instead.
“By properly sorting and preparing materials for recycling, we can all be environmental stewards,” said Larisa Hutcheson, General Manager of Environmental Sustainability with the CRD. “By placing sensitive papers in paper bags or cereal boxes, residents can join in the CRD’s commitment to sustainability and reduce our overall environmental impact.”
The regional curbside recycling program services 113,000 homes in the region; the program is in place to reduce the amount of waste entering Hartland landfill and to recover valuable resources. Plastic bags are not accepted in the curbside recycling program and often end up in Hartland landfill; the CRD is continually searching for new and innovative ways to reduce its waste stream, thus extending the life of the landfill. Plastic bags are often made from a non-renewable resource and their production contributes to the need for further oil exploration and to climate change. When plastic mixes into a paper recycling load, the result is unrecyclable materials that instead have to be sent to the landfill.
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For further information please contact:
Monique Booth, Communications Coordinator
CRD Environmental Sustainability