Recycling a ‘good news-bad news’ story

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Joe McWilliams
Lakeside Leader

We’ve probably all heard the dire news that certain countries are no longer accepting recycled materials from Canada; and that as a result, much of what was being recycled is ending up in landfill.

If so, what’s the point of all the effort? That question is not just vocalized by disgruntled patrons of coffee shops (or their online equivalent). More than once exactly that question has arisen at a municipal council meeting. Why bother with all the expense if it’s just ending up in landfill?

After talking with regional landfill acting manager Barry Kolenosky last week, we’ve got a clearer picture. Yes, some things that we would like to be recycled are ending up in landfill. But many are not.

“The markets have heated up,” says Kolenosky. “But it has to be high-quality stuff.”

The hottest of all at the moment is metal. None of that is ending up in landfill if anybody can get their hands on it, because prices are good, and that includes the metal bits in electronics.

“That’s why B&Es are happening at our landfills,” says Kolenosky. “I’m not kidding!”

Cardboard is “kind of holding its own,” he continues. But the quality needs...continued

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