The recent letter from M. King (“Blue box blues” – Nov. 19/17) serves as a timely reminder to me to re-iterate my reasons for not recycling.
I wrote to this paper approximately 1 1/2 years ago stating that I had decided to stop recycling as long as the present system remained in place. My reasons then were as follows: the restrictions on the types of material that you are allowed to place in your blue box; the continual cherry-picking of the contents of that box by the Emterra employees (with the “unwanted” items left on the curb or blowing down the street); the absolute absurdity of requiring willing recyclers to sort out their recyclables only to have the afore-mentioned employees throw it helter-skelter into the same open truck; the blatant refusal of MMBC to play by their own rules (check out the mission statement on the MMBC website and compare it to the recycling act of B.C.); and the absolute ludicrousness of the powers-that-be expecting us to be the only responsible link in the chain that gets the packaging from the store shelf to the recycling sorting facility.
One and a half years later my reasons remain exactly the same. Now, however, I am in a position to enumerate the benefits of being a non-recycler (in B.C.). They are as follows: no longer spending inordinate amounts of time sorting, containing, carrying, cleaning up the “unwanted” items from my yard and the street; no longer having to create or steal space from something else to store the bulky blue bins; no longer having to puzzle about why the very bins that are meant to contain our recyclables are themselves non-recyclable; no longer having to feel guilty about “should this be recycled?”
I find that I have more time to do other things that I deem to be far more beneficial than participating in an ill-planned, deeply flawed, insufficient non-system of recycling. Now that my attention is not divided by all that, i find that i am much more conscious of garbage. I find myself picking up after slobs on the street and ensuring that garbage goes where it was intended to go – in a can, emptied weekly and deposited in a properly run landfill facility.
Until something changes, I will continue to be a non-recycler in the North Okanagan. I will, however, continue to be a recycler in the Lower Mainland when I visit friends, in Ontario when Ivisit my in-laws, in Mexico when I vacation there – all places where recycling actually works like it should.