Provide recycled paper bins, not bags, to encourage paper recycling
Currently the bags get blown away in the wind, fall over. It's quite hard to keep them around. Bins for paper, similar to blue bins, would be much better
Rosie Perera commented
Waste Management of King County (Washington) used to collect paper in covered plastic bins the size of our "blue bins" that we use for cans & bottles & plastic. Then they switched to mixed (single-stream) recycling in a huge covered bin the size of our yard waste bins. I was going to request that Vancouver do that too, until I read this study which shows it's not as efficient: http://www.homasote.com/Blog/post/single-stream-vs-double-stream-recycling.aspx. So even if mixed recycling would result in more people doing it, I think the best solution is to keep doing paper separately but give us covered plastic bins so the paper doesn't get soggy. Not only do the bags blow away, they get all gross with mud after a rain storm, they aren't big enough, and they eventually tear if you overstuff them.
In Germany they collect paper in a designated bin ("Altpapier") that is emptied by automated trucks, the way our garbage and yard trimming bins are. This seems very sensible: it keeps the paper clean and dry, as Alexander Bell and Jimmy point out, and it also keeps *other materials out of the paper* which is hugely important to the paper industry. The blue and yellow plastic bags were a big step up from leaving paper out in the rain, but I think we're ready for a switch to Altpapier bins. The City staff will need to cost out what it would cost - the bins are not cheap - but the increased collection might bring revenues to recover the cost over time. Paper does have a net positive revenue to the City, I believe. (Eventually we can phase out the "Blue Box" when all the glass, plastic and metal containers finally go back for cash refunds like beverage containers.)
Having a bin would make things much easier and also you save on a) bags flying during Vancouver's windy season b) we could automate the collection saving labour cost c) larger container means more ability to recycle more d)Gets peoples attention more I have always thought that the bags really seemed like a ohh and we recycle paper instead of grabbing peoples attention which occurs with a large bin.
Hi - just a note to clarify Pradeep's concern: The City of Vancouver's recycling program accepts newsprint and paper and cardboard (and more): http://vancouver.ca/engsvcs/solidwaste/recycling/howto.htm
Pradeep K.Verma MBBS commented
I am told that City does not permit paper recycling period. The recycling truck driver is congenial to picking up newsprint only not the size A4 sheets or other kinds of paper and cardboard products. There is lot of ignorance about what is recyclable even amongst the city of Vancouver