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CRD Recycling/garbage


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#1 mat

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Posted 25 November 2008 - 09:52 PM

The recent, and frankly massive, fall in commodity prices worldwide is affecting the local companies contracted to pick up and recycle in the CRD. A BC Local News article is highlighting the regional problems, anecdotally there are stories out of larger urban areas (Europe/USA) where some systems are close to shutting down.

Limited space has forced Metro to send its excess tins up the street to Steel Pacific Recycling, where the wall of scrap metal continues to grow. “We are paying to get rid of some of the material,” said Doug Stevens, Metro’s plant manager.

The CRD and recyclers are committed to keeping blue box pickups operating, but to make that feasible, change is needed, said Steel Pacific marketing manager Reid Hudson.

The two private companies are locked into CRD contracts to handle recyclables until 2012, and they pay the regional district a guaranteed ‘floor’ price for materials picked up at curbside material.

As a matter of cash flow, Steel Pacific is requesting that it be permitted to pay the CRD for the material after it’s been sold, rather than on receipt of the recyclables, as has been the case. “We have to be up front because clearly, you can’t survive without everybody playing their part in it, and it effects everyone,” Hudson said.

Commodities that a month ago were in the midst of record highs have fallen off the map. When Steel Pacific was paying sellers between $225 and $240 a tonne for scrap metal, they now are paying $20.

The situation with paper is even more drastic. Where not long ago Metro was receiving $100 a tonne from processors, the lack of interest from buyers means Metro is being forced to pay $30 a tonne to get rid of it, Stevens noted. “We are charging our customers to bring material into the facility,” he said. “Six months ago we were paying them for it.”


What we are seeing already, and I wonder if others have the same experience: with our bi-weekly garbage pickup (Saanich) we have received notices on weight of the cans and improper material (what, is the guy going through it?). Never had a previous problem in 3 years, and we have cut down on garbage.

Blue boxes - I watched the pick up crew go through the blue boxes in the neighbourhood and set aside anything with food scraps, plastic on paper or stuff in the wrong bag/box...never seen that before, and they refused to answer questions (don't blame them actually, as it was raining and they were obviously frustrated as well)

With 6 adults and kids in our house, plus a dog, 4 cats and 2 rabbits - we must be careful with garbage, and employ the blue box/bag system as much as possible. Pick-up is only every 2 weeks in our area (summer is hell with maggots). Any further restrictions would be a hardship.

#2 Jason-L

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 03:21 AM

I wonder how much of the recycling and blue box programs was a product of excess wealth? As we see credit contract, spending slow and the service based economy perhaps collapse in the absence of people needing service, will we see more of the environmental projects become sidelined as indulgences? Will people be willing to subsidize to a greater extent the recycling programs if, in the end, there is no recycling going on? How many more rhetorical questions can I fit into this paragraph?

It is worrisome to hear that the recycling programs are being hit hard in this crunch. I'm sure there was some hope that the blue box program could be sustainable economically through such things. My real concern is that, at the rate we're hearing and seeing so many business models fail, we're going to end up bailing out just about everything by the end of this.

#3 Bernard

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 12:28 PM

I find the once every two week schedule not often enough. I produce as much recycling as garbage and I need to use numerous blue boxes to be able to put it out on the curb.

A huge cost for any recycling is sorting the materials that come in. By having glass, plastic and metal all in one bin, you have to spend time sorting it out. No sorting system after pick up is anywhere near as effective as sorting at source, I worked for a recycling company for several years and saw the impact of unsorted material.

I would be happy to sort glass, plastic and metal into separate containers. I would also be happy to separate out the refundable.

If paper was sorted into more categories, the value of the material would be much higher. At the moment the paper we recycle are curbside is classified as mixed paper, the lowest value possible. If you sorted it into newsprint, office paper and other, the value of the materials would be much higher. Typically newsprint is worth two three times what mixed paper is and office paper is worth about four to eight times as much.

If office paper is sorted out at source, it becomes cost effective to sort the office paper into different categories at the depot.

Plastic can also be sorted into types, something that is a huge pain to do after it is picked up. Sorting by numbers is not a hard task.

Yes, what I am suggesting would take more effort from the public, but it would save money for local government and only takes a bit of getting used to. People have embraced recycling, they can embrace doing it better.

#4 Caramia

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 12:57 PM

I wonder how much of the recycling and blue box programs was a product of excess wealth? As we see credit contract, spending slow and the service based economy perhaps collapse in the absence of people needing service, will we see more of the environmental projects become sidelined as indulgences? Will people be willing to subsidize to a greater extent the recycling programs if, in the end, there is no recycling going on? How many more rhetorical questions can I fit into this paragraph?


I just wanted to say this really made me laugh. Thanks!
Nowadays most people die of a sort of creeping common sense, and discover when it is too late that the only things one never regrets are one's mistakes.
Oscar Wilde (1854 - 1900), The Picture of Dorian Gray, 1891

#5 Holden West

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 12:59 PM

There was that recent Globe article on recycling in Toronto that interviewed people including the hardcore recycler that carefully sorted plastics by number and the ultra-hardcore recycler that put non-recyclables in the bin in the hope of pressuring local government to expand the program to other materials.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#6 mat

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 01:04 PM

Compared to pickup systems in Europe, we do have it too easy here. In Belgium we had 3 different boxes for metal, glass and plastic - and 2 different bags for paper. It was up to the household to sort it all, and it had to be clean, labels removed and caps off bottles. There were also recycling stations in every neighbourhood - glass containers, large containers for paper/plastic etc., and a town run centre to drop off larger items (old furniture etc.), or construction/garden material.

Pre-sorting at source would save the recycling companies some money but would it be enough to realize a profit when raw new paper is now at or below the price of recycled? where demand for bulk scrap metal is so low the shipping cost alone makes it prohibitive to sell?

Whether or not the price for recycled material allows for a profitable business model, the ecological benefits remain. Without it all that packaging and paper would end up in landfills.

#7 jklymak

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 01:18 PM

To me, the market way of encouraging recycling is to charge resource extractors more for their mineral and logging licenses? Increasing the price of the raw materials would make recycling more cost-effective. Of course one would need to slap tariffs on foreign competitors who don't do the same, and there would be a cost in our standard of living in the short term. In the long term, though it would probably be best.

#8 Bernard

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 01:30 PM

Pre-sorting makes a huge difference.

When you do not pre-sort, anywhere from 1/3 to 3/4s of the material can end up landfilled. If we assume a 40% waste rate, this means from one tonne of recycling you not only do not make any money from the whole tonne, you have to pay to get rid of 40% of it.

Most private recycling ends up being done by companies that do waste removal as well and the recycling is not a core part of the business. A an example of well recycling can be done, take a look at Urban Impact Recycling in Vancouver. They landfill 500 grams out of every tonne of material they collect - an amazing number and they have been achieving this sort of material recovery for 14 years now.

By better sorting at source, the value of the materials collected will go up and the amount of material that has to be landfilled will drop.

The ecological benefits also rise if the material is sorted at source because there will be less waste into the landfill and materials will be used for a higher and better use. Office paper can be recycled into more office paper and the fibre has a longer lifecycle from this.

I have no idea how much material is collected in the CRD and how much of it is recycled. It would be interesting to know that number and it would interesting to see the CRD set some targets such as less than 1% of material collected being landfilled.

#9 LJ

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 05:31 PM

Compared to pickup systems in Europe, we do have it too easy here. In Belgium we had 3 different boxes for metal, glass and plastic - and 2 different bags for paper. It was up to the household to sort it all, and it had to be clean, labels removed and caps off bottles. .



Wouldn't people just toss everything in the garbage then?
Life's a journey......so roll down the window and enjoy the breeze.

#10 Coreyburger

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 06:01 PM

Wouldn't people just toss everything in the garbage then?


Not if there are stiff and enforced penalties for breaking the rules.

#11 Holden West

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 09:20 PM

^The penalty is the government forbids you from putting mayonnaise on your french fries for three months.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#12 mat

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 09:30 PM

^The penalty is the government forbids you from putting mayonnaise on your french fries for three months.


I can see it now - dealers lurking around dark alleys selling illegal mayonnaise packets! :D

#13 Holden West

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 12:52 AM

Port Angeles is anticipating getting our old newsprint.

"It depends on price, but it also depends on them. They may chose to sell to China as a lot of people have done," [Harold Norlund, Nippon Paper mill manager] said.

"Certainly, we're always in the business for local available recycled paper."

When the paper was shipped to Nippon in the past, its was carried on the MV Coho ferry, Norlund said.


From a carbon footprint angle it's probably ideal. The fuel required to barge it across the strait is negligible compared to sending it elsewhere in BC, Oregon or God forbid, China. We lose the economic impact of processing it here of course.
"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#14 Ms. B. Havin

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 09:12 AM

Wouldn't people just toss everything in the garbage then?

They won't pick up your garbage at all if you don't comply.
When you buy a game, you buy the rules. Play happens in the space between the rules.

#15 LJ

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 09:11 PM

They won't pick up your garbage at all if you don't comply.


You mean the garbagemen open up your bag of garbage to see what is in it before they throw it in the truck?
I'm having a hard time buying into that.
Life's a journey......so roll down the window and enjoy the breeze.

#16 Coreyburger

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 10:21 PM

You mean the garbagemen open up your bag of garbage to see what is in it before they throw it in the truck?
I'm having a hard time buying into that.


If they suspect you to be not recycling, then yes, I suspect they would. However, I suspect that compliance rates are pretty high anyway, people being what they are.

#17 mat

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Posted 03 February 2010 - 12:18 AM

The way it was explained to me by our regular Saanich garbage pick up guy is as follows (they currently use small pickup trucks to back into driveways - I expect that will change soon)

Anything tied into a solid bag is not inspected - that is simply thrown into the truck and shipped to landfill.

A garbage container that holds garden waste, construction/reno waste or obvious reclyclable material (outside of a bag) can be rejected.

They also judge the weight of a container - no use trying to hide your old concrete bags, or lead bars. If the garbage canister if obviously too heavy, they will leave it.

#18 Holden West

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Posted 04 October 2010 - 08:46 AM

Waste-collecting cyclists put a new spin on recycling
Shannon Moneo
Victoria— From Monday's Globe and Mail

So three years ago in Duncan, B.C., he started a business where traditional recyclable materials are picked up by bike.

Looking to Victoria’s dense downtown, he realized the capital could be well-served by bikes that can wheel into spots unsuited to bigger vehicles.


Back at the collection depot, with incense burning to mask the stink, waste is dumped into larger bins. The material is trucked to a facility about a half hour north of Victoria to be transformed into compost, sold as reSOIL.


"Beaver, ahoy!""The bridge is like a magnet, attracting both pedestrians and over 30,000 vehicles daily who enjoy the views of Victoria's harbour. The skyline may change, but "Big Blue" as some call it, will always be there."
-City of Victoria website, 2009

#19 Sparky

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 01:54 PM

Well it must be a delightful day in the neighborhood when the residents receive their new garbage and recycle receptacles. These are complete with tracking numbers.

 

They didn't drop any of these off at our office though. (we must be paying too much in property taxes to qualify for the program) I guess I will have to tell the staff to eat all of their sandwich at lunch as there is no place to dispose of the crust. 

 

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#20 sebberry

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 02:33 PM

When they say no kitchen scraps, does this include plate scrapings?  Or does my leftover gristle, fat and bones go into the compost now?

 

What about dog dirt?  That's in plastic though so I guess it goes in the garbage.


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