Letter to the Editor
Sorting, collecting, and recycling
I read with interest the acceptable and not acceptable items for Blue Boxes on the back page of the January 02, 2019 edition of the Sioux Lookout Bulletin. This is of interest to me as I have worked part-time at Drayton Disposal for the past 4 years or so collecting and sorting both residential and commercial recyclables. Sorting is a very labour intensive job as all materials are sorted by hand, no mechanization as found in larger city centres.. Just because an item has recycle triangle on it does not necessarily mean it is recycled in town. Common examples of this type of product would be foam meat trays and the black plastic trays used in food packaging. We often leave blue boxes and bags behind because they contain non-acceptable items. Some of the more common items we observe are disposable coffee cups and lids, foam/styrofoam of any type, foil plates, pet food type bags (sugar, flour etc.), plastic bags, latex gloves and glass. If you take a close look at the acceptable items as mentioned in the January 02, 2019 edition, please pay close attention to the bold type where it mentions lids removed, rinsed out and flattened. A time-consuming part of my job when sorting is removing lids from all containers whether they be plastic drink bottles, shampoo type bottles, spray type bottles, jars, drink cartons, margarine type containers etc. All these lids are garbage excepting the margarine container type lids and some of the jar lids. So please remove lids from any and all containers before placing in your recycling. When sorting if we come across items that are not properly rinsed or cleaned whether these come from residential or commercial pick up these simply go in the garbage ending up in our land fill. Some common examples we find are salad dressing bottles, margarine type containers, steel/tin food cans and ketchup/mustard bottles. I could go on, but I think I’ve said enough, so in closing if you are recycling or thinking about starting to recycle, to make my job easier and to avoid needlessly sending recyclables to the land fill, please cut out the aforementioned page tack it to your fridge or where ever and refer to it often as you recycle. Thanks.
Bruce Van Horne