Expand current blue box recycling
Expand what can be recycled in the blue-box containers (eg: tetra-paks, plastic bags / wrappers / film, and other plastic types)
Personally, I would prefer to see a reduction in the use of plastic shopping bags. But in the mean time...it would be great to be able to recycle them effortlessly & easily.
chris thoreau commented
Vancouver's blue box recycling also needs basic expansion. Right now we can only recycle 4 plastic types Whereas in Victoria they can recycle all seven. And what about soft plastic?
NOTE: diana's idea "Vancouver must improve its recycling capacity for several types, as they have in the suburbs." has been merged with this one
I agree 100% with Janna's comment. Well said.
Janna L. Sylvest commented
I would support expansion of the blue box recycling options ONLY IF it were coupled with producer-pay high, deterrent deposit fees. Provincial policy can influence reduction, reuse, and recycling through deposit fees. Consumer behavioural change can have the biggest impact at the selection stage: select products with little or no packaging AND in the event of packaging, select first those products that are from post-consumer waste, are reusable, and our biodegradable. If we simply expand what we can throw out, consumers may well encourage continued and increased “bad” packaging.
Reduction in packaging is key. Second is encouraging the use of the lowest impact, reusable materials, such as glass containers instead of plastic containers, and third is discouraging the use of packaging materials that are toxic to produce in the first instance, challenging to recycle without a high energy expense and loss of original materials (a down scale recycle) in the second instance, and ultimately still end up as a non-compostible, toxic waste (ie. plastic recycled to fleece fiber still ends up being a fleece jacket that can’t enter the waste stream without negative consequences). And third is establishing deterrents to production and consumption. A municipality has limited ability to influence policy change in this realm except at the waste disposal end. Here is where the City could make a difference: in imposing a waste cost to plastics entering our waste stream. Just as there is an additional cost to drywall waste, there could be an additional cost to plastic waste.
Blue Box recycling is old-school. It's "welfare for waste." The better way is to require producers to take back their packaging and recycle it. That's how it works with tetra-paks in BC (and most other Canadian provinces) -- you pay a nickel when you buy it and get your nickel back when you return it. Producer/consumer responsibility. Consumers get rewarded for recycling. Ask the Mayor and Council how much we spend as a city on recycling containers in the Blue Box: every nickel we spend is a subsidy encouraging wasteful packaging!