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Friday, 6 April 2018

Reduce, reuse, recycle, repeat

Spring cleaning along with minor home renovations bring the inevitable question of what to do with all the discarded material. Prince Edward Island has been in an environmentally friendly mode for sixteen years now. Sorting garbage is a way of life here. What can look like a pile of garbage, may result in a single item which goes to the landfill. Islanders do our part to keep material out of the landfill. On average, each islander diverts 429 kg or almost 950 pounds of waste from the landfill every year, making us leaders in Canada where waste management is concerned.


When you are experienced in the process, it doesn’t take long to sort the waste. We find it easier if we sort as we go rather than leave it all for a major sorting before collection. Either way, it gets done.


As a consequence, the beaches and countryside are relatively clean year round. Of course there are periodic clean-ups of the beaches for example. However, islanders work to prevent anything going in the water in the first place.


Composting is a priority here. Every second week, collection of food, garden waste plus box board occurs. Paper, assorted plastics and corrugated cardboard are collected once a month and recycled as well. We also collect hazardous waste, electronics, batteries and tires. Chances are packages which come into the home can be dispersed several ways with respect to reduction and recycling.


Then there’s the whole business of reuse. There are numerous Buy and Sell sites and often items are provided free to others. We always look for ways to reuse items or donate them, such of second hand book sales for worthy causes. 


My problem with the whole process is how manufacturing has not evolved environmentally friendly packaging to keep up with the times. Where is innovation when it comes to packaging? Why, after years of environmentally friendly practices, are we dealing with some of the exact same packaging which is non-recyclable or non-compostable. It is time for industry to come into the 21st century. Anything less is not good enough!

33 comments:

  1. I agree with you about the need for new packaging. So many things are packaged in a box far too big and far too elaborate.
    I try to recycle as much as I possibly can, shredding paper, taking used batteries to the Canadian Tire store, cardboard and paper go in the blue box, food scraps go in the green box. But I still have a small bag of garbage every two weeks which I feel guilty about. But my neighbours produce a HUGE bag of garbage on a regular basis.... amazing! Where do they get it all?

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    1. We produce a small bag of trash every two weeks. I wish it was less, Shammi.

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  2. I totally agree! I reuse as much plastic as I can, but it still bothers me that some things come in plastic for one use only. We also recycle but not to the extent you do on PEI. I wish the rest of the world was as environmentally conscious.

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    1. It sounds like you have a start at the recycling there, Jan.

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  3. I agree with you completely.
    Wishing you a nice weekend.

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  4. We recycle weekly here, and we usually put out two bins. Smaller places like ours, however, don't do kitchen waste.

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    1. The composting is a big commitment for a community AC

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  5. The waste along the highways is appalling. What ugly minds people must have, to discard their waste through a window. So many of us take the time, assume the responsibility to recycle out waste, and still look at the litter, coast to coast, border to border.

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    1. i don’t understand how people can throw trash out of a car either, Joanne.

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  6. it sounds like you, as a community, are doing a wonderful job to recycle. here, i find it is hit and miss, but definitely a hit in my household. i think we do a wonderful job at home!!

    our beaches are beautiful and litter free in the off season. during the summer, when the tourists come, it the beaches are a disgrace. when i do search for sea glass, which is not often in the summer, i bring a trash bag and collect garbage as i walk!! one person can make a difference!!!

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    1. We always pick up anythng we see too, Debbie.

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  7. Packaging can be so wasteful- a big box for a small item.

    We have weekly recycling- plastic and metals one week, paper the next.

    Regarding your comment on yesterday's post, thanks for jogging my memory on Gordon Lightfoot. That was definitely him. I thought the last one might be Buffy, but she doesn't play the accordion. I'm fairly certain now that it's the folk singer Anna McGarrigle, who does play that instrument among her talents.

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    1. I took a guess it was Buffy. Anna McGarrigle makes sense.

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  8. I agree. Recycling etc by individuals is only part of the solution and, quite frankly, a small part of environmental responsibility. Industry needs to do more. But they will not, without being forced to by government laws and regulations.

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    1. Government needs to pressure industry for sure, Debra.

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  9. It's too bad all people can't follow your lead, the world would be a cleaner place. Recycling happens here every two weeks for paper and plastic. I walk to our glass and can recycling bank and put ours in the bins. Still packaging is terrible here, almost everything is in plastic or trays. Companies need to change now not later.

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    1. We need more environmentally friendly packaging, Bill

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  10. An emphatic YES from here too. I recycle, and reuse. And there is still room for improvement.

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  11. Spring cleaning and making things more efficient are what I'm trying to do here. The snow keeps stopping me though. As soon asw the snow stops I'm going to wear myself out trying to straighten things up around here.

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  12. We have a big problem here with recycling - companies in China used to take most of the collected materials - but now those contract have been cancelled, and we don't have Australian companies set up to deal with the collected material. That's a very large pile of recycled materials waiting to be dealt with!

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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    1. I can’t find out where our recycled material goes, Stewart.

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  13. That hard plastic wrap is the worst. It comes over everything, is hard to open, and terrible to dispose of. We compost our own kitchen scraps but cannot add meat or bones as our pile is too close to the house and also does not get hot enough to get safe.

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    1. Everything is composted here, Tabor. In Newfoundland I composted garden material.

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  14. I agree with you that it is a shame that no one has come up with a more environmentally friendly system of packaging! It is wonderful to hear how the Islanders have taken such initiative to protect their beautiful island. We don't have many options for recycling here, unfortunately, and I hope that will change soon!

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    1. Practices depend on the area where you live Marilyn.

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  15. Recycling in France is amazing not much goes to waste. We are in fact taking a tour of the recycling centre here on Tuesday morning which should be interesting, but I have already been warned no internal photos :-(( Cheers Diane

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  16. You’ll tell us about it I hope, Diane.

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  17. We try to reuse things and recycle. I wish we do even more but our tiny town doesn't have any recycling going on and I think it's because we are only about 100 people. However this amount of people do cause a lot of waist. I am using our own grocery bags and trying not to wash my denim jeans too often for a heard horrible things about the creation of a denim pants. It's our responsibility to care for a better planet. Thank you for this post Marie.

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    1. We can only do so much without the will of all levels of government to make the changes, Angela.

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  18. It sounds like your community has a great recycling program. I wish ours was that good. It does seem odd that companies haven't improved their packaging.

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