Waste Reduction Week recommendations

Leanne Koehn with the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society says there are simple things people can do to reduce waste in Maple Ridge.

The Ridge Meadows Recycling Depot bales one ton of plastic bags and wrap every day.

The Ridge Meadows Recycling Depot bales one ton of plastic bags and wrap every day.

The Ridge Meadows Recycling Society has made a number of recommendations to reduce waste as part of Waste Reduction Week.

In a recent presentation to council they outlined simple things people can do based on results from two surveys the society completed over the summer.

One is bring a reusable bag when you do shopping.

“You start to add up how many plastic bags you use and then it is times how many times you go shopping per week and how many weeks in the year and then times how many people in the world. It it really does help to reduce the amount of plastic,” said Leanne Koehn, with the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society.

“We collect and bale on average of one ton of plastic bags and wrap every day. So, you could imagine how light (a plastic bag) is and how much we need for one ton. In 2015 we recycled 170 tons of it,” explained Koehn saying that if we didn’t use plastic bags then the raw materials like oil that go into making them wouldn’t have to be extracted from the earth.

Another tip is to refrain from buying that new gadget.

“If your gadget still works don’t buy a new one just because it’s trendy,” said Koehn adding that in 2015 they recycled 483 tons of electronics.

Avoid styrofoam packaging. Bring your own containers for take out and let a business know that you would rather not use styrofoam. The recycling depot receives three tons of styrofoam every month.

You can also bring your own mug and coffee cup for that morning java.

“Basically take a look at your garbage and see what you can cut down on. When you’re shopping buy things where the packaging is recyclable,”  said Koehn.

In January the Metro Vancouver garbage transfer station will be changing their hours of operation along with the recycling depot.

They will have summer and winter hours and be open on statutory holidays except for Christmas Day and New Years Day.

Schedule starting January 2017:

October to April 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

April to September 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily.

On Sundays and holidays they will open reduced hours from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m..

Waste Reduction Week is a national environmental campaign with the goal of building awareness around sustainable and responsible consumption. Waste Reduction Week ends October 23.

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