Letter: CVRD recycling is very confusing

None of their staff can identify what was the “unacceptable” item

CVRD recycling is very confusing

Two hours after trying to contact and speaking with recycling officials about a warning letter, we are more confused and confounded than before I started.

None of their staff can identify what was the “unacceptable” item. Not sure how we are supposed to be able to figure it out, if they can’t.

Ater a long discussion about 30 questionable items, I went through our recycle bin. I had to remove 90 per cent of it. That metal cannot go in there, as it has some rubber on it. That metal box from the bathroom fan cannot go in. Nor can the small metal electric baseboard heater as they aren’t considered household — although they both came from inside the house. This is somehow considered construction, not household. The weatherstripping, although plastic cannot go in — it will plug the machinery, and it is considered construction, not household. The green garbage bag isn’t the right thickness or something, so it can’t go in, although it is supposedly made from biodegradbale/recyclable material.

The hanging plant pot with a hole can go in, as long as it is clean, which is no problem, as I like to keep my soil, but not the hanger — that goes into garbage.

The plastic bread bag closures, although plastic go in garbage (too small). Metal parts, screws, nails are not “household”, paper clips are, but again, too small, so I am supposed to save them until I have enough to warrant a 30 km trip to Bings’s for metal recycling.

Now what to do with a pen that has plastic and metal, and maybe even a bit of rubber?

We are so environmentally conscientious that for the first 20 years we lived in this rural farm area, we made the trip to Bing’s two to three times per year. So simple — we took everything: garbage, recycyclable, refundable, re-usable for the “free store”, and sorted it there, or at the large bins downtown, which were clearly marked.

Now we spend hours every month sorting. Our back yard looks like a trash yard because we don’t create much, so we need all the different bins: bottles — only some can be recyled at Island Recycle; others need to go to Bing’s; if cracked or chipped they are supposed to go in garbage; refundable cans; flexible plastic; plastic with foil; Styrofoam — now where does that go, again?

The unsightliness means we have to drive to these centres more often now, plus we have to drive to at least two different places to recycle. If it is a re-usable item (the best option), then we try to find a thrift store that might accept it.

For this ‘convenience’, for ‘the good of all’, we pay. Very frustrating as we use the recycle and garbage bins about one out of every four pick-ups.

We are now being told that in the near future we’ll also have to pay for compost/food scrap pick-up, even though we have a half-acre garden and are always looking for compostables. In farm country? Pay for compostable pick-up?! What? Then pay for the CVRD to build a site, maintain it, package it, and sell it back to us?

Frustrated environmentalist,

Lorene Benoit