I’ve been a part of the wonderful Cascades family for 11 years now. I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but I’ve somehow earned the title of “residual materials management super-hero.” It’s a reputation I carry with me both at work and at home. Even without my cape and mask on, people are always asking me, “Hey Marie-Eve, is this recyclable?” Of course, I usually have the answer! But when I’m not sure, I turn to my colleagues at Cascades Recovery or my local sorting centre.
During the summer, “where does this go?!?” has to be the most frequently asked question I get. At this time of year, people go out more, consume more, and generate more waste materials. Just for fun, and because I’m wearing my “super-recovery” cape, here are a few tips on effective recycling during the summer months:
1. CHOOSE CANS
When camping, choose aluminum cans for your alcoholic (or non-alcoholic!) beverages:
- They are lighter;
- They won’t break should you drop them;
- The deposit is cheaper;
- Throw your used cans in the recovery bin and you will make your sorting centre very happy!
Kids also enjoy collecting cans and returning them to the campsite convenience store for the deposit. Why not encourage this fun, environmentally friendly activity?
2. DON’T OVERLOAD THE BIN
If you come across a full recovery bin at a public event, don’t pile your container on top. An overflowing bin will only lead people to throw their material into the next available garbage can. Instead, try one of two options:
- Wait until you reach the next recovery station;
- Bring your materials home with you (that may take a bit more effort, but you’ll enjoy a sense of satisfaction knowing you did a good eco-deed!).
3. EMPTY CONTAINERS
Wherever you go, make sure to empty your beverage containers before putting them in the recovery bin. Chug it down or water the grass under your feet! You’ll lighten the bin load and avoid spilling liquid all over the rest of the contents.
4. USE REUSABLE CUPS
Have you heard about ecocups? I’m sure you already know that the best waste is waste you don’t generate in the first place. Why not bring a plastic cup with you to your summer events? If you prefer not to carry one around, you can always find a willing friend with a bag. Cups are easily stackable and take up very little space!
5. NAME A RESPONSIBLE
If you and your friends are heading to the cottage or campsite, nominate someone to take care of your waste materials. I speak from experience: having a “designated recycler” will up your recycling rate! He or she will feel inspired to rise to the challenge!
In conclusion, I want to point out a frequent semantic error: recovery describes the act of disposing material in a bin, while recycling is the actual transformation of this material. So they really should be called “recovery bins” and not recycling bins.
Enjoy your vacation! I hope you will all be #recyclingsuperheros this summer!