Blue box program misses the mark

Letter writer expresses concerns about the recycling system in the North Okanagan

I have a young family starting and I want to see my children grow up in a world that is clean and livable. One of the easiest ways to help achieve this is by recycling, though I agree it is far from the only thing we need to do.

However, the current curbside recycling program in Vernon is both inferior and inadequate when it comes to promoting people to recycle more.

Most everything can be recycled today, from glass to plastic to styrofoam, you name it. If you look on most every package, box, container, or whatnot that you buy in a store, you will see the three arrows in a triangle shape recycle symbol that we all know.

Heck, even things that don’t have the symbol on it, like tin foil, can still be recycled. However, despite all of this, our curbside recycling program in Vernon and the North Okanagan is severely limiting in what they do and do not remove. The current program, as is, does not allow many recyclable products to be picked up in the curbside blue box program.

Yes, you are allowed to take most products to a designated recycling plant. In Vernon, these are the bottle depots, but that defeats the purpose of promoting citizens to recycle more.

Ease should be the name of the game in recycling. The easier it is to recycle, the more it will be done.

The MMBC blue box program is neither easy nor simple and because of this, many recyclable products still end up in our local landfill.

The curbside blue box requirement to separate papers and plastics into individual boxes is another piece that complicates and thus reduces the homeowner’s compliance to use the program properly, if at all.

The worst part of it being if there is anything in one of the boxes that cannot be taken by curbside pick-up, say styrofoam. They simply leave all of the recycling in that box and leave a note stating why they did not take it, instead of taking the other allowed recyclables away.

This type of disciplinarian system borders on neglect and is a perversion of what recycling should be.

I am not saying we have to go back to the old blue bag system we had, though it was a simpler and better system. But perhaps a new type of curbside program needs to be envisioned, one that takes the greatest assortment of recyclable materials in an easy and simple manner.

A program that promotes people to recycle more, not only for today’s world but for tomorrow’s as well.

Kellen Marrs

Vernon