We are lucky in BC to have the most advanced and integrated processes for the management of residential recycling anywhere in Canada.
Recycle BC is a not-for-profit created in 2014, after a 2011 law passed by the British Columbia Ministry of the Environment transferred the cost of recycling from residents to producers. Producers who sell products in British Columbia pay fees to Recycle BC for the packaging and paper supplied on a quarterly basis determined by how many kilograms of each material they sold in the province.
When China and other foreign markets stopped importing waste from the rest of the world in 2018, other provinces scrambled to find markets for the material they’d collected. Fortunately, Recycle BC had already established a policy of using North American markets for everything it collects (except paper).
Business owners pay a fee for all the packaging they create which then ideally ends up at a recycling depot or in curb side collection bins. Recycle BC is 100% funded and operated by the companies that are putting packaging and printed paper into the marketplace.
One of the biggest challenges to recycling is contamination (ie: mis-sorted recycling, dirty food containers, and even hazardous materials like syringes, diapers and propane tanks amongst other unacceptable material). In BC, the contamination rate is about 6% compared with 25% in Ontario and Alberta. This is due to the education that's been happening both at the municipal level and across the province. The low contamination rate means the raw recycled material is of high value so it’s easier to sell in an extremely competitive market.
Waste Manager Mark has shared that the hardest category of recycling for locals is – containers. This collection looks wrong to folks because tin, hard plastic, paper containers, (like some to-go coffee cups) and tetra packs are all lumped together in the same bin. If you lived on the other side, your blue box would look like this (it’s called single stream recycling) and it would be collected without question. The mix of materials is not extraordinary and it’s not going to end up in the landfill (unless it is contaminated). The thing to remember is that it’s about containers.
A container is an object designed to hold or transport something. Containers made of plastic, metal, and paper are used to package our food and everyday items. They are collected and sorted according to Recycle BC guidelines so they can be processed and repurposed. Just to keep things interesting, polystyrene foam containers are collected separately.
Hard plastic containers become new packaging, rope, brush bristles, car bumpers, household furnishing, decking, picnic tables, deck chairs, and gardening supplies, etc. Cartons and paper cups become new boxes, paper towels, tissues, paper based plant pots, paper cover for drywall liner and brown paper products.
Aluminum containers (includes cans and lids for food, foil take-out containers and pie plates, and empty aerosol containers used for food, air fresheners, shaving cream, and hairspray) are turned into new aluminum, road signs, and windows, etc.
Steel containers (includes pet food containers, tins for cookies, tea, chocolate) are turned into more steel containers.
Once these things are collected, the materials are fed into a machine by a conveyor belts, and then they are screened. Magnets, optical scanners, and blasts of air mechanically separate the materials.
Remember recycling is now considered a resource, please take it to a recycling facility for proper disposal. During the Covid-19 pandemic, it is recommended to limit trips to recycling depots until absolutely necessary, storing materials at home where possible.
Even though Lasqueti has not yet been accepted into the Recycle BC fold, the local Depot operates according to their guidelines and everything that leaves the island is processed into something new, not landfilled. Trash Removal System: first Thursday of the month, 11 am - 1 pm, at the Weldon Road Boat Ramp. If the weather is unfavourable, they’ll try the following Monday, same time and place. WMM will inspect Lasqueti Island residential waste destined for the Nanaimo Landfill before its loaded onto a bin on Keith’s barge. No construction materials, renovation or demolition waste, prohibited waste, organics, recyclable material or stewardship materials. $5 per bag, $25 per truckload. Mattresses and boxsprings $15 each.
Trash Removal System: first Thursday of the month, 11 am - 1 pm, at the Weldon Road Boat Ramp. If the weather is unfavourable, they’ll try the following Monday, same time and place. WMM will inspect Lasqueti Island residential waste destined for the Nanaimo Landfill before its loaded onto a bin on Keith’s barge. No construction materials, renovation or demolition waste, prohibited waste, organics, recyclable material or stewardship materials. $5 per bag, $25 per truckload. Mattresses and boxsprings $15 each.
Recycling Depot: Fall/Winter Hours October 1st- March 31st
- Mondays 10 am - 2 pm
- Thursdays 1- 5 pm
- Closed on Statutory Holidays.
All recycling is monitored. Please bring it CLEAN and DRY.
Free Store: Fall/Winter Hours October 1st -March 31st
-Thursdays 1 - 5 pm
Ginja requests you drop off outstanding items only i.e. clean, usable clothing and household items. Please, NO food, garbage, recycling, TV’s, soft foam, batteries, electrical devices, mattresses or hazardous materials ie: chemicals, fluorescent light tubes, prescription/non-prescription drugs, or pills in general.
Also, check out the BUY, SELL, and TRADE bulletin board beside the front door of the Free Store. Lot’s of people are using it!
Return-It Beverage Depot open 24/7
Front left of Free Store. Accepts refundable beverage containers: beer, cider, pop, coconut water cans, boxed wine cartons (leave them intact), water jugs and tetra juice packs. No, milk containers and any kind of glass - please take these to the recycling depot.
Recycle BC Website: www.recyclebc.ca/what-can-i-recycle
If you have any questions, comments, suggestions for me and the qRd Let’s Talk Trash team please get in touch! email@example.com or 8601.
LASQUETI RESILIENCE COMMITTEE
Hello from the Resilience Committee! We just wanted to give you a heads up, that you will be receiving in the mail a sign that says “Ok “on one side of it and “Help” on the other. We acquired these signs from QRD last fall. This virus pandemic we are experiencing has brought home, even more so, the fact if a major disaster were to happen on Lasqueti, we are on our own. We have an amazing group of folks here who I am sure will step up to help, as many have already shown us recently. Our First Responders and Fire Department are awesome, but with a major disaster, they will be more than busy.
The thought of these signs is to hopefully to put priorities to those most in need. The thought being , if you are okay physically and could manage what ever has happened , putting the sign in your window or at your driveway will let responders know you are okay and they can move to the next person's or property. If you need help the same thing put the help sign out. It is not bullet proof, but It may save some time, because even now , phone lines for use are iffy.
We also received some pamphlets on Fire Safe Tips for in and around your property, that are actually quite good. The fellow who compiled this information made the information applicable to our area and conditions. If you would like one we can mail one off to you, just phone either Judy Peterson 250 333 8834 or Kathy Rogers 250 333 8840, or email me ( firstname.lastname@example.org) .
Last but not least we have had a dry spring so far, and would like to remind folks that open fires are banned as of April 15/20. A huge thank you to the (too numerous to name) folks who have assisted during this time. Wishing you all to be healthy and safe. Kathy R
LASQUETI ISLAND FOOD SECURITY UPDATE:
A small group has been formed in cooperation with our local emergency coordinator, Darcy Pascall to come up with a plan to improve island food security in these crazy times. We're still working on a good name, let us know if you have any ideas (Lasqueti Food Producers Alliance? Lasqueti Food Growers? Island Food Collective? ......)
How can we grow and distribute more food locally? To start with, everyone is encouraged to step up food production at home. There are plenty of seasoned gardeners to reach out to for advice and JennyV will be keeping us all on track with regular garden advice posts. Talk to your neighbours about how to make best use of all the garden space available in your neighbourhood, maybe someone has more space than they can handle while someone else is short on sun or water or fencing but would love to provide some garden labour in exchange for some produce. You may also want to grow more of what grows well in your garden and trade with neighbours or friends for things that don't do as well for you.
Jenny V and Mary Ange are both stepping up production of veggie starts and have catalogs listing what they will have available that can be emailed or sent to you via post. The PAC Plant Sale has been cancelled and the Mother's Day Plant Sale will not happen as it usually does either, so at this point, it's best to pre-order and work out pick-up/delivery with them directly. There are several other growers who will have extra starts too, such as Gordon will sell his extra starts from his stand as usual. Reach out on the email list or call around if you have extra starts to offer or are in search of something. A facebook group has also been started for seed and start swapping called Lasqueti Seed Trade.
It seems unlikely the Saturday market will happen, so distribution of extra produce is the big question. Some kind of box program (sometimes called CSA, which stands for Community Supported Agriculture) seems to be the best solution, where extra food is bought from folks for set prices and then boxes are put together so all members get a share. There are still lots of questions to answer about how to set things up to be efficient and keep everyone safe and virus-free. Stay tuned for more details as plans develop. If you have any good ideas or want to help with organizing, please contact us.
We're also aiming to get unused garden space into production to grow staples on a larger scale for the community - ie. root veggies, winter squash, dry beans etc. for consumption over the winter. Carly R and Willy are developing a list of available land as well as folks willing to help out with farm labour, so if you know of available land (especially if it's already fenced and has irrigation water available), or are willing to help with planting, weeding, watering etc, get in touch with either of them so you get added to the list.
--Lasqueti Food Growers (?? sheesh, we really need to sort out a good name......)
JennyV - email@example.com / 8601
Marie-Ange - firstname.lastname@example.org / 8595
Wendy S - email@example.com / 8632
Hilary - firstname.lastname@example.org / 8674
V-STAR VARIETY NURSERY UPDATE
In sweet time, sad time, hard time, old time, new time, basically all the time, I’ve observed that Life Grows On. It’s hard to stop life from trying to make a go of it. The life force is that - a FORCE. A seed becomes a seedling, becomes a flowering plant, becomes food or beauty, becomes more seeds, becomes compost out of which grow more seeds.
In this time of Corona virus, this in-between time, I thought I would have lots of free time to write about gardening, to pass on encouragement to new gardeners, to share handy hints, to express my enthusiasm for the marvellous growing world. But, because I put more seeds than usual into soil mixes, my days are full dealing with the burgeoning numbers of babies I am now tending. Lots are for me and my space, many are for the lovely, supportive folks who have put in special orders, and there will be more for the V-Star roadside stand.
If you want flowers, herbs, brassicas, tomatoes and peppers, please check in to see what I have to offer before you go over to visit the big nurseries. I started extra to help get us all growing our own food, flowers and herbs.
Mucho love, JennyV
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