Saturday, April 23, 2016

Recycling program not so Green after all

Letter to the Editor in Friday's North Shore News points out faults.

Image result for recycling bins


Anonymous said...

Bravo! Excellent letter.

What the so-called planners are doing is regressive.

And they are paid tons of money by we the taxpayers.

Barry Rueger said...

What nonsense. Although the system could arguably be run a bit better, the bottom line is that recycling is a success that none of could have imagined forty years ago.

Now I see a minimum of 15 trucks per week coming down my lane.

What? Three trucks a day, every weekday? I call BS on that claim unless she happens to live right beside the depot where the trucks park overnight.

Or Tim Hortons.

How is this making things greener, going from one garbage truck a week to 15 or 20 for the same area?

Hold on, first it was three trucks a day, every weekday, now it's four trucks a day, every weekday?

It must be Tom Hortons.

Now our back alleys are filled with broken furniture, pots and pans etc. because people can’t afford to pay another fee to get rid of their stuff.

OK, I'll put this in short simple words: if the City or District picks up all of your ancillary trash, it will still cost you money.

It's not magic.

Besides - trash piled in the alley isn't the fault of municipal government, it's the fault of lazy home-owners. Between Craigslist and the various recycling depots there's not very much that can't be recycled somewhere. It may take a drive or a bus ride, but that's just part of life.

I'll bet a box of TimBits that the author of this letter would still be complaining if the local governments abandoned all recycling and just dug a bigger landfill to bury all of the stuff that gets recycled.

Anonymous said...

They used to have garbage days (Ontario) where everything from mattresses to furniture to the kitchen sink used to be picked up during a special week of getting rid of things like that for free.

It used to be a grand free "garage sale" for a lot of people. One man's junk is another man's treasure.By time the junk got picked over by citizens, there was really not much left for the garbage trucks to pick up. We need more of that sort of thing, again.

Anonymous said...

What? People think garbage collection and disposal is free or easy? Letters like that one only serve to point out how dim some of our populace really are.

Anonymous said...

If the municipalities on the North Shore wanted to truly reduce the amount of material being picked up at the curb it would ban plastic grocery bags, ban the sale of water in plastic containers, ban the sale of coffee etc in disposable cups and stop the distribution of free newspapers (they could still be collected from newspaper boxes and the like) and the "Yellow Pages' etc. The savings would be huge!!! but would NOT require an empire of staff in City Hall or Municipal Hall to manage lol so it ain't going to happen :-)

Anonymous said...

A garbage truck holds about 7 metric tons of garbage. A grocery bag weighs 5.5 grams, that means that you could fill a garbage truck with 1,272,000 bags. An average garbage truck visit 450 - 500 homes before it is full by weight (7 tons) or by volume (semi compressed 8 meters cubed), lets say an average home acquires twenty bags a week, 20 bags x 5.5 grams x 500 households = 55 kilograms of bags. Sounds like a lot, but the truck carries 7,000 kilograms of waste so it is roughly 0.7% of the waste stream in a worst case scenario where none of the bags is recycled.

Yes I am bored.

Anonymous said...

We sort 'deposit' containers into bags.
We sort garden grass, leaves, etc. into paper bags.
We 'sort' our rotting kitchen organics into a bin.
We sort plastics and metal tin cans into another bin.
We sort newsprint and other paper fibre into a bag.
We sort glass containers into a little bin.

Does anyone know what the 'District' does with these sorted streams? ( It's a question I don't know the answer to). Is it anything significantly different than putting them into a storage bin for a century until they are worth more?

Anonymous said...

Each stream has a different value based on the weight and quality. Kitchen and outdoor organics become compost and are sold. Biogas plants are planned to capture the methane gas that comes of decomposing organics, but for now it is just compost. Metal, Glass, Paper and Plastics are sold to recyclers. The value is dependent on the quality of the product and whether it is contaminated with other products which is why we have what is called source separation rather than Port Coquitlam which collects everything and then they sort it at the transfer facility. Our source separated product gets a higher price as most of your cardboard isn't fully food spoiled and you plastics don't have broken glass in them.

So it subsidizes the cost for collection and defers the landfill costs.

Anonymous said...

Thanks 4:55 for that answer.

Is your source of information available on the District website?

What is the source of your information?

Anonymous said...

I used to be on a recycling committee.

Anonymous said...

I draw the line at Organic waste. it's idiotic.

In Surrey the trucks collecting organic waste will run on bio fuel created from organic waste it collects. Creating bio fuel out of organic waste requires some nice toxic chemicals to stabilize the rotting waste.


Barry Rueger said...

I draw the line at Organic waste. it's idiotic.

The point is not to create bio-fuel, it's to reduce the volume of waste being buried in landfills of burned in incinerators.

Until someone volunteers a valley that they own, far away from anyone else, for use a new landfill, expect the push towards recycling to continue.

Anonymous said...

Or, you could compost your own organic waste and stop whining about how your municipality disposes of YOUR garbage.

Anonymous said...

We had a compost, but it became the meeting place for the local raccoons and then skunks. I'd rather just have it hauled away and am willing to pay for it.

The organics are not used in biodiesel, but they will soon be used for the production of methane which can be cleanly burned in a district heating plant or fuel hydrogen vehicles. If it is left to compost, whether it is in one big pile or at 10,000 houses in small piles, it will naturally release methane which is a very intense greenhouse gas. Collecting and capturing the methane is better than composting yourself.

Anonymous said...

7:29 >>>

You said:
" If it is left to compost, whether it is in one big pile or at 10,000 houses in small piles, it will naturally release methane which is a very intense greenhouse gas"

Well ya.

But if not transported to our houses as food, would have died and released methane which is a very intense greenhouse gas.
And if not planted to be transported, would have not covered the natural landscape that then would have supported other plants ( weeds ) that would have died and released methane, a very intense greenhouse gas.
Or perhaps that landscape would have been covered with solar panels that starved the natural green cover of its food ( sunlight ) causing the green cover to die and rot in place, releasing methane, a very intense greenhouse gas.

At least your idea captures some of the energy potential by burning the methane produced by rotting it at a central location. I think, however, that all the sorting and transporting could be avoided by collecting the methane directly from a landfill, then burning it.

By the way, I LIKE landfills. I think they are ore deposits for our children to mine.

Anonymous said...

I like landfills too, but I prefer them as the seven sports fields at Inter-river rather than a mining project for future generations. We just have to manage the leachate and whenever possible maximize our recapturing of methane. Yes the sports fields are sitting on a cornucopia of waste metal, plastics, rubber etc. but those items are not really in short supply... rubber may become rare, but not for a few hundred years.