Editorial – Junk is just mostly, junk

Jeff Burgar

It’s bad enough businesses have to lock their dump bins. Locks are needed because there are a few losers too cheap to pay their own trash fees. So, these dorfs think it’s oh so cutesy leeching on to someone else’s bin and dumping their trash there.

Among the other habits these crumbbums have is dumping trash in the bush. Often in some of the nicest hiking areas around the region. If it’s easy to hike to, it’s often easy to drive in and dump a worn out fridge or washing machine, or a mattress or two. Then there is dumping it outside the local landfill gates because they were too lazy to find out when the fill gates are opened. When losers have a day off, the rest of the universe has to keep on working, just to make the losers happy. All in all, the usual crap full-fledged, full patch members of the Loser Club partake in.

One of these days, the whole “use someone else’s recycle bin or box” problem could get a whole lot worse. There are issues.

To name only a few, there are certain plastic products that just don’t recycle well. Some places are actually banning some plastics from recycling. One Ontario town says, “If it crinkles,” don’t recycle. No potato chip bags or candy wrappers. Another banned item is “stretchy stuff.” Grocery bags and sandwich bags are out. Now, Fort Saskatchewan will only take mostly clear pop bottles and laundry detergent jugs. More items are on the way.

Second, food waste is no longer acceptable in containers to be recycled. It should only make sense that bottles and containers should be rinsed out before being sent to the recycle. It isn’t hard. But tell that to the parent or relative who likes dumping take-out food containers on the roadside. Or how about full diapers tossed out a window in the downtown area. They are going to rinse?

It seems one of these days, a real possibility is the “recycled” stuff is going to be coming right back to the original owner of the bin. Now, he or she not only gets to pay the costs for someone else using the bin, they get to pay the cost of the dirty trash coming back. Plus, they get to clean the dirty trash before they can send it back to the recycling centre. Doesn’t sound like a very nice deal, does it?

More likely, people will just stop their own recycling. The big blue bins are getting more and more expensive to operate. Most recently, China, one of the world’s best places to ship “recyclables” is slowing down how much they take. Their reasoning is, there is just too much contamination and non-recyclable product coming to them. Canada used to ship over a third of its plastic garbage to China. That is now down to 29 per cent and falling.

And of course, in the news is the six dozen or so shipping containers sent to the Phillipines as “recyclables.” Instead they were found to contain nothing but garbage. They came from Canada. After six years of sitting at a dock there, they are coming home. It will be interesting to see where the trash actually started from. Maybe a shipment from the Grande Prairie recycling centre? And some of it actually started out in our region?

There’s just no telling these days.

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