“Recycling right” even more important amidst COVID-19
By Spencer Seymour, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
Ken Bettles, Perth South Director of Public Works, noted that Bluewater Recycling Association (“BRA”) has provided their new collection schedule, and that starting in June, Perth South collections will be moved to Thursdays. The first Thursday collection for Downie area will take place on June 4, while the first Thursday pickup for Blanshard area will occur on June 11.
Perth South Council also reviewed highlights of the recent BRA Board of Directors Meeting which was held on April 16.
With regards to the impact of COVID-19 to recycling operations at Bluewater Recycling Association, it is mostly “business as usual”, however four main areas affected were highlighted:
- BRA has temporarily stopped all waste auditing functions, including bin inspections;
- BRA has closed their facilities to the general public to minimize potential staff exposure;
- Some administrative staff able to work remotely have been providing their support from home;
- Recyclables from high risk facilities such as nursing homes and hospitals are managed as waste.
“Shipment of recyclables to end markets continues, but getting haulers is becoming more difficult and some commodity prices like plastics are dropping because of the oil prices, while others like cardboard are going up from the lack of supply with all the businesses closed. Generally, the volume of residential materials collected is up, as people are taking advantage to do spring cleanup,” the report continued.
Given the current situation, a recent set of recycling recommendations by Waste Management was distributed within BRA’s board of directors’ communication.
“Across North America, people are generating more household garbage and recyclable materials than usual, and manufacturers are in need of more clean recyclable materials to meet their demands for making basic goods and emergency supplies,” said Waste Management Vice President of Recycling, Brent Bell. “We can all do our part by recycling right during these challenging times.”
According to Waste Management, recycling best practices include recycling only clean, dry and loose material such as:
• cardboard (without inside packing materials);
• paper products, including newspapers, junk mail and office and school paper;
• paperboard, such as cereal and cracker boxes;
• plastic bottles and jugs; and
• steel, tin and aluminum cans.
The following materials should be thrown in the trash, according to the company:
• plastic, latex and cloth disposable gloves;
• disposable masks;
• liquid soap and hand sanitizer bottles that contain residue;
• disinfectant wipes;
• facial tissues, napkins and paper towels;
• disposable plates, cups and cutlery;
• takeout containers;
• leftover food and liquids;
• plastic bags and plastic film wrap; and
• hoses, cords, polystyrene foam and other packaging.