Recycling options keeps holidays ‘green’

NANAIMO – Participation in recycling and food waste collection gives city one of the lowest garbage disposal rates in Canada.

While most people think abot their waistline during the holiday season, the City of Nanaimo is thinking about its waste-line.

“Thanks to participation in recycling and food waste collection services, Nanaimo has one of the lowest garbage disposal rates in Canada,” says Gary Franssen, manager of sanitation and recycling. “Nonetheless, the amount of garbage we collect increases significantly in the two weeks after Christmas, so remembering the 3Rs – reduce, reuse, and recycle – is more important than ever.”

Consider giving gifts and planning celebrations that create memories instead of garbage. Sustainable choices include taking family or friends to concerts or holiday events.

Other options are making a charitable donation in the recipient’s name, giving skating or swimming passes, transit tickets or buying locally made items that support the region’s economy.

About 20 per cent of waste is packaging. Buying gifts with less packaging and wrapping them responsibly saves resources and conserves energy.

Gift wrap containing metal, wax or plastic coatings cannot be recycled and should not be placed in yellow recycling bags. Instead, try wrapping with reusable bags, tea towels or cloth napkins.

However, most holiday waste is recyclable or compostable. Before trashing it, check if paper or plastic or metal containers can be recycled at the curbside or at local recycling facilities.

Remember, along with Christmas leftovers such as turkey trimmings, bones and other food waste, the green bin program accepts soiled paper products such as paper plates, cups, waxed paper, waxed cardboard, paper food takeout containers, paper-based milk and ice cream cartons, and paper cups.

The Nanaimo Recycling Exchange at 2477 Kenworth Rd., accepts Styrofoam for recycling. For more information, please call 250-758-7777.

Residents can also go to the Regional District of Nanaimo Recycling Directory for local recycling, reuse and disposal locations, or call the RCBC Recycling Hotline at 1-800-667-4321.

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