Recycled irony in treatment of plastic bags

I am writing to point out that we have taken yet another step away from common sense with our recycling program

I am writing to point out that we have taken yet another step away from common sense with our recycling program.

For the rest of this year, we can not put plastic bags into the plastic bags that we are forced to use for recycling. Does anyone see the disconnect here? Forced to use plastic bags but not allowed to recycle plastic bags. Hello?

Last year, when the city started forcing us to put out recyclables for curbside collection in specially purchased plastic bags, the city engineer was quoted as saying that city hall had instructed BFI to start giving out warning stickers about loose recyclables, with the intention to “start out in 2014 with a true commitment to the bylaw.”

I wrote to city council at the time. Here is a quote from that letter:

“My commitment is not to any particular bylaw, but rather to recycling, after, of course, reducing and re-using. I and many others merely want to be allowed to continue to put recycling out in reusable bins, as I have been doing since the program began, rather than being forced to buy and throw away plastic bags to demonstrate our commitment to a bylaw. I estimate that these bags add several tons of plastic to the waste stream and let’s not forget this would require citizens to spend thousands of dollars on this additional garbage. I suggest that the city should not only permit, but encourage the use of reusable containers for recycling.”

At the subsequent council meeting, several councillors pointed out how well the program had been working up to that date. This was while reusable bins were being accepted.

Instead of a commitment to a bylaw, let’s have a commitment to improving our program at every opportunity, especially when there is no cost involved. And if the bylaw is getting in the way, then change it.

Rod Charlebois