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Blue+2 recyclers’ efforts applauded

Craig Foster shows examples of items which could be recycled during the recent pilot project conducted in the City of Langley. - Langley Times file photo
Craig Foster shows examples of items which could be recycled during the recent pilot project conducted in the City of Langley.
— image credit: Langley Times file photo

Given the opportunity, people want to recycle as much as they possibly can.

That’s the indication of a pilot project conducted in the City of Langley to test the recycling and collection of plastic bags, overwrap, foam containers and foam cushion packaging.

“We were pretty happy with the way Langley City residents in the test areas participated in the project,” said Craig Foster, Canadian Plastics Industry Association (CPIA) as the 12-week project, titled Blue+2, came to an end.

“The co-operation was fantastic and we want to thank those who participated for working with us.”

This first-of-its-kind recycling test in B.C. involved collecting information on how the blue, see-through plastic bags worked as a container for the plastic materials as they were collected at the curb, compressed in the collection truck and sorted at Emterra Environmental’s Surrey material recovery facility.

Throughout the three-month test, audits of the contents of the blue bags, regular recycling and garbage bags indicated public response to the request to recycle the materials.

The audits measured how much of the materials were recycled, compared to what remained in the garbage, and whether the materials were prepared for recycling the way the sponsors asked.

“When we looked at the blue bags of material that we brought to Emterra’s MRF at Surrey for processing and recycling, there’s no doubt that many people worked hard to give us what we asked for. For example, some of the foam containers were absolutely clean and stacked to save space.

“It doesn’t get much better than that.  It’s exactly what the end markets love to get,” said Nevil Davies, Emterra Environmental’s General Manager for the B.C. mainland.

Ordinarily, plastic bags, overwrap, foam containers and foam cushion packaging are not accepted in Langley’s recycling program; however, this three-month exception was permitted in order to determine if curbside collection can work for these materials sometime in the future.

“The City of Langley is proud to have been chosen as the host for this test project,” said Mayor Peter Fassbender.

“We’ve always been proud of our waste diversion program and this showcases the City’s desire to be a leader when it comes to recycling.”

Further information will be put on the web at www.emterra.ca later this spring.

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