LETTER: Ways must be found to deal with new waste stream

The Regional District of Nanaimo and its citizens are widely recognized as leaders in solid waste reduction programs. Now together we need to find ways to effectively deal with a new waste stream.

Specifically: with the advent of the RDN’s new automated curbside collection service on Oct. 1, the issue of how to deal with the tens of thousands of garbage cans, blue boxes and green bins that are now rendered redundant becomes of paramount concern.

The RDN has published some suggestions for ways that these old containers can be repurposed to keep them out of the waste stream; they are also going to set up a collection system to recycle any used containers that aren’t repurposed. However, the principal onus is on the public to keep these containers out of the landfill.

Repurposed or reused is better than recycled. If you can’t find some way to repurpose your containers, consider asking a relative, friend, or neighbour if they could make use of them; recycle them as a last resort.

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New evidence continues to reveal just how pervasive this ubiquitous material (plastic, in its various forms) has become in our environment; micro-plastics are present in the food we eat, the water we drink, even in the air we breathe. It is predicted that there will be more plastic in the oceans than fish by the year 2050. This can’t end well.

While plastic admittedly is a useful material in our modern world, it is absolutely imperative that we reduce its usage where possible, while establishing and maintaining rigorous plastic recycling protocols in order to combat the environmental damage wrought by this material.

Governments need to mandate that the plastics industry be responsible for accepting and recycling this waste material, thereby assuming environmental and social responsibility for their products.

Murray Chantler

Qualicum Beach

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