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!