Green Spot: Paying to Recycle

A while back my wife noticed some blue bins that showed up in our area about once every two weeks stuffed full of recycling materials.  So out of curiosity she looked up the company website and discovered a company that does curb side recycling in town.  (For reference all recycling in Regina is normally done by yourself by taking them to large bins located around the city, there is no mandatory curb side program.)  So she call them up and got an estimate.  Total cost about $10/month.

You see my wife one major issue with our city run recycle bins that are in various locations in the city.  None of them take plastic other than milk jugs and this pissed her off.  You see back in our last city they took just about everything (glass, plastic, paper, tin) other than compost and diapers.  So for back then we basically were only generating about half a big garage bag a week.  Without recycling plastic and another kid we were about two full bags a week of trash.

So now we are basically paying to recycle, which strangely I’m ok with.  I rather disliked having to drive all over to hit up all the various bids and drop off the material.  We got lazy once in a while and it build up.  Then it was a big pain to deal with.  Now it just all goes out the end of the driveway once every two weeks in two big blue bins.  Simple and straight forward.

I’ve also attended a class on composting so I’m giving that another try this summer.  So all in all we expect our garage level to drop back down to about one big bag a week.  It might be less, but I’m not sure.

So how does recycling work for you? Curb side or do you do it yourself?  If you pay for curb side, how much? (I’m curious how programs very from city to city).

4 thoughts on “Green Spot: Paying to Recycle”

  1. I’ve never lived in an area without curbside pickup of recyclables, at least not since I started paying attention to where garbage goes (maybe when I was 15?) I didn’t even know there were still places that made you do it yourself at a depot.
    In Guelph, ours is picked up by the same truck that picks up our green organic waste (the trucks has two compartments to keep them separate) every week. Our regular non-recyclable, non-compostable garbage is picked up by a second truck every two weeks.

    We pay for it all with taxes, of course, but it seems easier to me than having to get a company to do it for you, or going to a depot.

  2. We use to have bins at a few places in town. With the new ideas imported with more well-heeled retirees moving here (my guess) from larger cities like Vancouver we now have a blue box pick up with our garbage paid through our taxes.

    Not sure how much it costs me…rather not know. I preferred the less expensive bins that we visited every month or so when on other errands. My wife prefers the curbside system…one less thing to schedule I guess.

    If the economy remains bad for a few more years I would not be surprised to see the curbside,more expensive, recycling programs being replaced with the bin approach as Cities look for ways to reduce costs.

  3. I’m really ambivalent about recycling. We live in a “green” development, and there is recycling available for everything (compost too). A private company is contracted to pick up whatever materials we contract them to. However, what this really means is that a HUGE amount of waste is generated–the bins are overflowing regularly–conscience-free. Rather than questioning the amount of waste, it’s a case of out of sight, out of mind.

    In the meantime, that “recycling” means that the company sorts it (discarding anything contaminated), and bales it, and then sells it to China. It is shipped halfway around the world to places where it generates toxic waste dumps and then is turned into non-recyclable plastic products, like building material, playgrounds, etc.

    At the moment, the Chinese market has dried up for our recycling companies, and our private company is struggling to cope with all the garbage they’re collecting. Not a pretty picture!

    Mind you, I’m not sure what the solution is, besides reducing personal waste like crazy. For me this is a reminder that all the individual activism that we concentrate on is really nothing without government level leadership on things like packaging laws…

  4. Ha. I live in Regina as well and am completely amazed that this city hasn’t caught on to this newfangled thing called “recycling”. Perhaps they would not have to build a new dump if they had caught on to recycling back in say the early 90s when most progressive cities introduced it.

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