How do you fit into the picture?

Québec’s recycling crisis is the responsibility of all levels of government, consumers, and enterprises. Each person’s role can have a positive impact towards the situation in order to achieve a better outcome. According to Greenpeace, every year, Canada alone accumulates 3 million tonnes of plastic waste, yet only 10-12% are transformed to raw materials. Which tells us; recyclers are making an effort to place everything “recyclable” inside of the blue bin but it looks like, most consumers have been doing it wrong the entire time!

Did you know that contaminated materials end up rejected simply because something like a yogurt container wasn’t rinsed out or a peanut butter jar had a few tablespoons left inside? Following rules can be annoying, especially when we just want to get rid of an item quickly, but taking that extra step is how we’ll become better recyclers. Otherwise, everything will be in vain and many of what we think we’re recycling will go to waste. Try to approach recycling differently; learn about what you CAN and Can NOT recycle to break old habits and learn new ones.

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Taking time to sort out waste from recyclables is one piece of the puzzle. This week take a moment to practice your recycling skills and challenge someone to recycle more too, they might thank you for it later!


 

RECYCLABLE ITEMS

  • Newspapers/magazines, paper, envelopes, paper bags, cardboard tubes, and rolls.
  • Unsoiled boxes from cereals, frozen foods, laundry soap, shoeboxes, books, glass bottles, clean milk cartons, and clean juice boxes.
  • Food tins, covers, and caps, metal hangers, unsoiled metal trays and plastic foil.
  • Clean bottles from any liquid shampoo or laundry soap, clean containers for yogurt and margarine.
  • Grocery shopping, dry cleaning bags and clean bags from food products.

NOT RECYCLABLE ITEMS

  • Diapers
  • Coffee cups such as Starbucks and Tim Horton’s (soiled)
  • Pizza boxes and food scraps
  • Photos and toys
  • Glass or mirrors
  • Porcelain and rubber
  • No.6 plastic or Styrofoam

 

RESOURCES
  1. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/quebec-recycling-crisis-1.4383151
  2. https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/montreal-bails-out-local-recycling-plant-hit-hard-by-chinese-ban-1.4667873
  3. https://globalnews.ca/news/4250508/canada-recycle-plastics-85-percent-2025/
  4. http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/recycling-crisis-quebec-business-model-seen-as-wasteful-and-inefficient
  5. http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/the-wrong-stuff-recycling-mistakes-hurt-montreals-recuperation-rates
  6. https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/citys-waste-report-shows-progress-but-recycling-falls-short
  7. https://musemcgill.wordpress.com/research/waste-management
  8. http://recreer.recyc-quebec.gouv.qc.ca/en/what-is-recyclable

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