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Rethink the way you recycle | Reduce, Reuse, Rethink

Rethink the way you recycle | Reduce, Reuse, Rethink


Canada invented the blue box. The first
curbside recycling programs launched in Ontario three decades ago. The problem is recycling technology hasn’t kept up with our lifestyles. For example we used to
throw out a lot of bottles, cans and newspapers. Now, blue bins are brimming with plastic. That’s expensive and sometimes
impossible to recycle. Some of that plastic gets sorted and sent to landfills, but a
lot is shipped overseas. China used to be the biggest importer of recyclables but
then in January it said no more. Saša Petricic shows us why. The plastic flies in the village of Lu Chao. Great sheets of it once used for wrapping. Huge compressed blocks of old shopping bags fill every corner of the local recycling
center. It’s one of a growing number of such plants sprinkled throughout rural
China. This one near Shanghai. All part of a government plan designed to clean up
the world’s biggest pile of waste that’s been building across the country for
decades. Local habits are partly to blame. [Translation] “People are used
to just throwing things away” says Huang Yingying, the plant manager. We’re telling them to recycle to stop with the trash, but North America and Europe have
been even bigger culprits. China was taking in about half the world’s
unwanted paper and plastic when it decided it didn’t want to be the global
garbage dump. Some 20,000 tonnes of it was arriving here every single day. It was a
cheap and easy solution for the developed world, including Canada. But it
was a growing environmental problem for China. Districts like way you became
notorious for electronic waste, for instance, thousands of small family-run
workshops recycled computers without any real
system to dispose of the waste. It was a well-meaning way to deal with global
garbage, but out of control, it turned toxic, tainting water and soil
with heavy metals. In local children medical researchers found widespread
lead poisoning. Jiayu has been cleaning up slowly, but other areas have not. There
still isn’t an effective waste management system. “China needs to speed up their actions to set up the system rapidly right, but so far no more very
big change.” Greenpeace says China’s plan to limit foreign waste is a chance to set up a cleaner more regulated system. In the meantime though, foreign bands are causing problems here. Ironically a shortage of waste. The cheap materials
gleaned from recycling have become an integral part of China’s production
chain. Turned into low-cost plastic hangers, kids toys and luxury car parts.
But with less foreign recycling the raw material is now scarcer. In Beijing, the
biggest bottled recycler uses vending machines to collect use plastic- paying
people about half a cent for every bottle they bring. But when the machines
are open, they’re largely. “People just don’t bring all the
bottles we need” says Feng Juan. “We can recycle 50,000 tonnes a year but can only collect about 30,000” Over time that is likely to change as China’s urban middle class grows consuming more, and likely recycling more. Replacing the
developed world’s waste with waste of its own. Saša Petricic, CBC News,
Shanghai. One of the big questions now is what does the developed world do with
all that waste that it used to send to China? It turns out here in Canada many
municipalities are stockpiling materials because they have nowhere to send them.
Kayla Hounsell has that part of the story In Nova Scotia’s Colchester County
plastics are the problem. Heaps and piles of them stacking up. Things like shopping
bags, bread bags and the wrapping on toilet paper. There’s nowhere to send
them. “It’s a big problem but we’re actively seeking solutions” It started when China began banning or seriously restricting foreign waste. This
facility brings in more than 10,000 tonnes of recyclables a year, with
the sending 40% of that to China. And Colchester is not alone. Municipalities across North America have been stockpiling recyclables. Some material
has started moving over the past couple of months – mostly to Asian markets but at lower prices. “The reason we have this challenge is because we generate so much waste, and when I say waste I mean that in the broadest sense of the word. Both
waste and recyclables” Here in Colchester County they’ve accumulated so much film
plastic they’ve run out of places to store it. It’s been sitting outside here
for about a month now the concern is that it could degrade beyond the point
where it can be recycled. If that happens there will be no other choice but to
bury it here at the landfill. Nova Scotia is the only province in Canada in which
it’s actually illegal to dump plastics in a landfill. So if it comes to that
Colchester we’ll have to ask the province for a special permit.
Halifax which was also stockpiling plastics has since found new markets for
its material but won’t say where. “If Halifax ships a thousand tonnes to one
facility, if that name gets out, another municipality might call and say ‘we’ll
pay an extra two dollars a tonne to take our material’ and then Halifax has no
spot to put our material. ” Some municipalities are also considering
plastic bag bans. “Montreal’s recently done it. Victoria has done it. Boston just recently did it. There are there actually whole countries – Costa Rica is thinking
of doing a countrywide ban.” The challenges resulting from China’s
decision mean the British Columbia model is becoming increasingly attractive.
Plastics are processed in province and they make producers pay “Retailers food manufacturers quick service restaurants, as examples are actually responsible for
paying the costs of managing their packaging at the end of life, and so that
means they pay fees to Recycle BC and on their behalf we used those fees to, not
only pay for the management of the program, but we’re actually actively
involved in directly managing the program ourselves.” As municipalities continue to look for solutions David Biederman says he expects Canadians and
Americans will end up paying more for recycling. Kayla Hounsell, CBC News.
Kemptown, Nova Scotia

33 comments on “Rethink the way you recycle | Reduce, Reuse, Rethink

  1. What's going to happen when no other country wants to accept North America's scrap plastic and electronics? Time to start really recycling our own garbage don't you think?

  2. Stuff it freak! Shouldn't have lied to begin with! I New the recycle was/is another scam just like government anti drug scam! Get back to using Card board and paper! Plastic was always a scam! But burn it in furnaces fueling power, building materials, corrupt government Mafia cartels ! Burn it generate Power!

  3. Waste cartel mafias not making enough scam money, they moved on to carbon tax scam! Eh! Get back to paper! Now!

  4. I live 2 hours from Ottawa. Our garbage goes in a compactor truck here and they ship it to Ottawa to be burned and make electricity. I am glad I don't live down wind of that smoke, but it seems like that makes the most sense for this low grade waste. Also let's get paper bags, cups and plates back. Then we can burn or compost it

  5. Canada needs to be responsible and starts to deal with our own garbage, instead complaining one who doesn’t want our craps

  6. Scary to think of how much waste were producing, period. It's great that BC is doing well recycling-wise, but what would be greater would be if we reduced the amount of things we dispose of at all.

  7. My trash pick up service won't give me a straight answer about ridgid plasic. What if it's a plastic chunk from things like a vacuum cleaner. I think it's usually ABS, Hipps or Pc abs I always come across.

    I assume they have a bin for it they sort it into. I guess, maybe, oh well. lol.

  8. People would not believe how much plastic waste I generate. It's a big problem because I can't even give it away.

    I don't generate it on purpose but I am a metal recycler and plastic is attached to everything. Most of the metal needs this crap removed unless it will go to shred later.

  9. STOP ALL TAXES from all 3 levels of governments on used and expired merchandises, parts, repairs services, refurbishment services, and transportation for ALL USED PRODUCTS.
    Also add tax credit for those with receipts of reuse refurbished products to reward users and to encourage them in the future.
    All environment Minister of Canada & the world should take note for this friendly non greedy pro action plan for overall greener planet.

  10. Yup, no More. Canada invented the blue boxes… now Canada can invent the recycling. Please do not spread them.

  11. just build your own god dam recycle system. And trust me, you’re gonna like it! Cause the money is really really good. Otherwise why we doing it for so long???

  12. Just logically your consumption is going to far outpace the recycling if you do not back there to go minimalist and reuse and reduce

  13. I think we will stop it but I’m sad that you said China what what what what they are using plastic paper I want to stop it to you but I am from China listen to me OK🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬😡😡😡😡

  14. China is the best China is the best China is the bad China is the best china is the band I want to stop the plastic but you have to stop saying china things you are a🤥🤥🤥🤥🤥🤥💩💩💩💩💩💩👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻

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