User-friendly recycling

Changes to curbside collection of recyclable materials could result in more recyclables ending up in the landfill.

Changes to curbside collection of recyclable materials could result in more recyclables ending up in the landfill.

The changes took effect in May and are a result of the Multi-Material British Columbia recycling program.

Plastic grocery bags, plastic film and plastic wrap will no longer be accepted in the blue bags, even though these items can be recycled.

Those who wish to take them for recycling must make a trip to the landfill and drop them off at the recycling bins there.

This change is puzzling since the recycling of plastic bags is now less convenient than ever before.

When Summerland introduced recycling, an unstaffed depot was set up near the Summerland Arena. Customers who took their materials to this depot had to sort cans, plastics, cardboard and paper and put each into designated bins, but the depot was centrally located.

Later, curbside service added a level of convenience as materials no longer had to be sorted and could be picked up at the curb.

While curbside pickup remains, some common items will no longer be accepted.

The depot is now at the landfill, in an area far from the core of the community. Hours of operation are limited.

The municipality’s system fits with the Multi-Material British Columbia regulations. But it is not convenient for those the end users.

If the goal is to encourage recycling and diverting recyclable materials from the landfill, something has to change.

Plastic bags and wrap make up a significant amount of a typical household’s recyclable materials. It seems senseless to exclude these items from the blue bags.

If the Multi-Material British Columbia program is to promote recycling and reduce waste, the service must change to become more convenient.