Pump Up the Volume

October 9, 1998

By Michael Jessen

October is a month known for giving thanks, eating turkeys and pumpkin pie; a month ending with a ghostly parade of goblins and witches. It's also a month when the leaves on the trees change colour and a time when many humans turn over a new leaf.

As you prepare to settle into your winter routine, it's time to consider pumping up the volume. Now wait a minute, you're saying, you want me to crank up my stereo?

Not really. Instead, consider recycling more. Maybe you've been recycling those easy items like newspapers and magazines. Maybe it's time to add glass bottles and tin cans to your recycling recipe. And what about all that mixed paper that still ends up in the garbage. It's all recyclable and if it is recycled the volume of material handled at your local recycling depot will be up!

Despite the garbage user fees, there is still too much garbage going to our landfills. Since October is Waste Reduction Month in BC, it's a great time to put new effort into the three R's -- reduce, reuse and recycle. After all, we're striving to reach a 50% waste reduction level by the year 2000.

To help get you in the mood for reducing waste, the Regional District of Central Kootenay will be there with daily reminders, at shopping mall displays, in television commercials for backyard composters, in print advertising with an emphasis on volume, or in radio commercials urging you to turn in your old telephone book.

October is also the first month of the new expanded deposit-refund system for all ready-to-drink beverage containers. All beverages except milk and milk substitutes and all containers except tetra-paks and gable tops are now included. While we now have more containers we have to return to stores or the local bottle refund depot, it should remind us that our governments are serious about keeping containers and other recyclables out of our landfills.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary is supporting the new container deposit system by banning refundables from both their landfills and their recycling system. Speaking of banning, the RDKB is in the final planning stages for the upcoming ban on all recyclable paper that comes into effect on July 1, 1999. No more recyclable paper will be tolerated in your garbage after that date.

Another RDKB initiative that will be completed next year is a compost demonstration garden at the McKelvey Creek Regional Landfill in Trail. The garden, which will be managed by a local community group, is scheduled to open on Earth Day in April.

By the time you read this column, the grand opening of the new McKelvey Creek landfill facilities will be over (it was held on October 7), but Raymond Gaudart, Solid Waste Management Coordinator for the RDKB, hopes all area residents will be pleased with the new layout. A new entrance has been constructed for easier access, scales are in place to charge by weight instead of volume, and the site is a drop-off location for recyclables, old electronic appliances like television sets, leftover paint, and hazardous substances such as solvents, flammable liquids, and pesticides.

RDKB elementary schools will be collecting old telephone books in the Trail, Rossland, Warfield, Fruitvale, and Montrose areas after the new books are delivered beginning October 20.

If you want to dispose of any garden waste such as plants, grass clippings, leaves, and prunings up to 15 cm in diameter, these organic materials will be accepted free of charge at the McKelvey Creek landfill from now until October 18th. This is an RDKB initiative only and area residents are reminded these materials can be disposed of at Central Kootenay Regional District landfills and transfer stations for the low fee of two dollars a truckload.

So there you have it. A month packed with waste reduction activities to spur you into action. October is a good month to get started, keep going, and reach new goals. Thank you for your help.

TRASH TIP - If every resident of the regional districts of Central Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary committed to recycling two additional pounds of recyclable material during October, almost 95 tons of extra recyclables will be spared an ignominious burial in our landfills.

All columns archived here are copyright © 1999 by Michael Jessen, all rights reserved. If you wish to print an individual column for your own use, please do so. If you wish to publish any of the columns in either print or electronic format, please contact the author at toenail@netidea.com to arrange appropriate payment.