To be, or not to be recycled?

BARRY’S BAY – Recycling continues to be contaminated with garbage in Barry’s Bay – in the efforts to help reduce contamination, a public information session recently took place at the Paul J. Yakabuski Community Centre (PJYCC).

On April 24, General Manager for the Ottawa Valley Waste Recovery Centre Sue McCrae made the trip from Pembroke to talk garbage and recycling.
The Township of Madawaska Valley has improved, she said – but there is still room for improvement, there are still issues, she continued. Most importantly, the community needs to work on their plastics recycling. This is where the majority of the problems are, McCrae explained.
According to the waste centre’s audits, the main sources of contamination are non-recyclable plastic materials.
More than 25 residents attended the first session from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the community centre, many of whom had several questions.
McCrae began her presentation by explaining how the waste centre works and functions. She asked that people keep in mind, when it comes time to recycle, that workers hand pick and sort recyclables.
So, one person sorts milk cartons, another plastic bags, for instance.
When things aren’t properly recycled, this costs more time, and more costs – while, we’re trying to reduce costs, the general manager explained.
Last year, the centre received more than 7,200 tonnes of recyclables. About 350 tonnes of that were fibres and 165 tonnes of that were containers, all from the Madawaska Valley.
The information session featured discussions on all sorts of recycling and garbage, touching on everything from containers, to papers, to Styrofoam and motor oil bottles, to name a few.
At the core of the information sessions, McCrae aimed to inform community members and answer any questions, as even she acknowledged, sometimes knowing what to recycle and what not to recycle can be tricky.
Another shocker for residents walking away from the meeting included the potential deletion of the use of plastic bags for recycling.
McCrae told those in attendance that the waste centre would actually be looking at a machine the following day, which could potentially determine whether the centre continues to accept plastic bags.
For the time being, however, the general manager encourages everyone to keep products loose in a recycle box.
For example, in regards to recyclable papers, like cereal boxes, toilet paper roles, newspapers, junk mail, etc., the paper recycling is best in the box itself, without the bag.
In regards to personal documents and if papers must be shredded, then it’s acceptable to put shredded paper in a clear plastic bag, McCrae said.
One of the issues with the plastic bags, McCrae explained, is that bagged material needs to be emptied; this adds more costs to the system.
Story continues in the May 1st, 2013 issue of The Valley Gazette.