They’re not included in curbside pick-up programs, but items such as stand-up pouches, crinkly potato chip bags and net bags for produce are being collected at all Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) recycling depots as a new category called Other Flexible Plastic Packaging.
The expansion of the recycling program is part of a research and development project led by Recycle BC.
This category is essentially types of film plastic that are made up of multiple layers of plastic, making it difficult to separate and recycle.
Items now accepted at recycling depots only include: bags for potato chips, candy wrappers, dried pasta, cereal liners and instant noodles; packages for deli meat, fresh pasta and cheese wrappers; woven and net bags for avocados, onions, oranges, etc.; woven bags for rice, etc. and bubble wrap, plastic air packets and plastic shipping envelopes.
While “ziplock” bags are not included, stand-up zipper lock pouches for frozen foods such as berries, prawns, nuts, etc. are, as are zipper lock bags for food such as grapes, tortilla shells, etc. Also included are stand-up pouches for baby food, soap refills, oatmeal, dish detergent pods, etc.
“These types of plastic have not been accepted at CSRD recycling depots until now as Recycle BC had no program in place to manage them,” says Carmen Fennell, waste reduction facilitator, emphasizing that the newly included items will require a trip to one of the regional district’s recycling depots.
The technology to separate multi-layered plastic has not yet been fully developed, so until new processes are discovered, material that cannot be recycled will be used as engineered fuel.
“This new product category includes a large range of material that was previously being landfilled,” says Fennell. “The CSRD is excited to partner with Recycle BC in an effort to increase recycling options for our residents.”
Items that will not be accepted in the newly expanded program include plastic squeeze tubes, plastic-lined paper, paper-line plastic, plastic strapping, six-pack rings, biodegradable or Oxo plastic or PVC/vinyl.
For more information, contact the waste reduction facilitator at 250-833-5936 or visit the CSRD website at www.csrd.bc.ca.