More on Kamloops' recycling boondoggle

One Man's Opinion
By Doug Collins
June 27, 2017 - 10:15am

KAMLOOPS — Sometimes when you have so many good columnists working with you, you wind up treading on each others’ toes when you have something that sticks in your craw. I have been ticked off for a week over the City’s recycling program, and today was the day I was going to provide you with my missive on the way this program has changed for the worse. Then today, Bill McQuarrie wrote his column on the same topic. Lo and behold, he covered 90 per cent of the ideas I had, and hit the nail right on the head. I have to figure out how we got into my head and stole all those great comments.

I only want to add a couple of things to what Bill has so eloquently stated. The reason I got choked up was because I try to play by the rules. I try to do things the right way, be courteous, be civil, do what should be done and not only what has to be done. So when the new recycling plan came in, my wife and I went over the rules to make sure we understood what we could and could not put in the recycling. Didn’t agree with the changes, but, hey, we’ll abide by the rules. We always wash out the containers, making sure there’s no food waste and that everything is clean. Rinse out the pop cans and bottles, and try to be good citizens.

Then last week, my wife tells me there’s a sticker on our recycling bin. I looked at the sticker when I got home, but it didn’t tell me anything. It was a sticker that pointed out what we could and couldn’t put into the bin. I assumed from that sticker we had somehow put something in that wasn’t supposed to be there. But we could not think of what it could be. And the sticker didn’t indicate.

Now that’s just stupid. So what will happen is that I will do the same thing again some other week, and they will try to fine me, and I will tell them politely where to put their request. If they tell me what I did wrong, and I do it again, okay, my bad and I will pay the fine. But if you’re going to pay some city worker to go through my bin and see what’s right or wrong, then at least tell me what’s wrong if something isn’t supposed to be there. Maybe I had some cans in there that weren’t squashed flat. Well, I’m not going to squash the cans flat. I’m not going to look like an idiot stomping on cans in my carport before I put them in the recycling. Was that it? Or was there something else?

I agree with Bill McQuarrie that not dealing properly with glass and plastic film is just dumb. I’m not likely to store a bunch of crap in my carport until I have built up enough to take to one of the private recyclers. I’ll be like most people and just throw it in the regular garbage, where it will take up space in the landfill forever because it won’t break down. Bill’s right, the system is flawed and we’re paying for it in the long run.

I understand that this program isn’t only in place in our community, that several other cities have subscribed to this program. But other cities have not opted in, and frankly, I think their programs are better. Maybe we should have looked more closely before we saw the dollar signs flashing before our eyes. Maybe there was a smarter choice.