Letter: KUTE can’t afford to recycle plastics

A letter from a Kitimat Understanding the Environment director about their capabilities.

It is very positive that so many people are interested in protecting the environment by increasing recycling in Kitimat. Crystal Smith’s letter of Oct 24th raised a number of good questions. The first issue was curbside recycling, (blue bin or blue bag) this is a question to direct at City Council, but is primarily a cost issue. As for the central recycling bin(s), history in numerous locations has shown an unsupervised site leads to contaminated product.

The provincial government has implemented a number of Product Stewardship programs to build and sustain the infrastructure to support recycling of numerous products: Tires, Batteries, Paint, Electronics, Small Appliances, and Beverages Containers. In May of 2014, Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) will expand to include Paper and Packaging. (See BC government website for more information: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/epd/recycling/pack/faq.htm#pack) Packaging includes cardboard, shrink wrap, metal, plastic & glass containers. With this significant change in the near future, the local recycling depot operated by Kitimat Understanding the Environment (KUTE) can’t justify the expense to set up to recycle plastics. KUTE currently recycles paper, cardboard, tin, aluminum, paint, electronics, small appliances, power tools, cell phones, batteries, smoke and CO detectors, all types of light bulbs and fixtures.

For all those interested in protecting the environment, KUTE is always looking for volunteers to help with the recycling programs and education efforts in the community.

Ken Maitland, director of KUTE

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