As I was sorting my recyclables for the bi-monthly beyond the blue box event that Village Vancouver coordinates, I realized I still had a lot of questions about what could and couldn’t be recycled. For example, if I take apart the Bon Ami container – do the paper parts go in with paper or with foil? Can the tin lids and base go with the metals? What about dried up pens? Can I pull them apart and put the plastic bits in with the hard plastics or are the ink remnants considered contaminants? Where do the little rubber caps from medicine bottles go? And then there’s the plastic lining in the cardboard boxes I get my dried figs in, or in popcorn bags you get at the theatre. Do they belong in paper or plastics?
I’ve asked strata council if I can host a beyond the blue box session in my building. If they give me the green light, I plan to have a bit of an educational session around what can and can’t go in our own blue and green carts. I would also like to have someone from Pacific Mobile Depots (the company who collects the materials at the beyond the blue box events) and maybe the City or the Recycling Council of BC there. In fact, wouldn’t this be a great workshop to have at all community centres?
Perhaps the most important question I could ask is: where do all these materials wind up?