Guelph Waste Management Coalition Inc

Guelph Waste Management Coalition Inc. Recycling Innovations

This recycling is long overdue

Guelph Mercury - April 18 2007

Children are the ones who will carry the burden of how well we divert
our waste today. They are also the ones who learn about the environment
at school and who are often the best proponents of recycling at home.
When children latch onto an idea they rarely let go. So over the years
it’s been a disappointment that most waste — including recyclables
— from schools just heads to landfill. It is commercial waste like
this that brings down our overall diversion rate. We hope not for long.
The Wellington Catholic District School Board has implemented a much-needed
waste reduction strategy that will see recyclable materials actually
recycled. The strategy seeks to have elementary and high school students
sort recyclables in the classroom. This is the right method. If students
are forced to recycle when they eat their lunch or use a piece of paper,
they will be more likely to stick with the habit and take it home, where
they will remind their parents and siblings to do the same. And teaching
students a lesson when they’re young will increase the chance they will
continue to recycle well into their future. Industrial, commercial and
institutional waste — including that from schools — often skews diversion
rates that show residents are doing a good job of recycling and composting
at home. In a column that ran in this paper last year, a representative
from the Recycling Council of Ontario noted that in 2002, 74 per cent
of the 9.4 million tonnes of waste that ended up at Canadian and American
landfills or incinerators was from the industrial, commercial and institutional
sectors. No one can argue with the need to introduce even basic recycling
to these sectors to improve our waste diversion rates and keep recyclables
from landfill. The students who will now learn recycling lessons at
school are learning a valuable lesson. It is a lesson they can carry
with them through life.