doit1.png Many residents in small(er) BC communities have criticized recycling initiatives in BC for not collecting all or sometimes any materials   in their communities. Some of those communities have also seen items which were previously taken suddenly no longer accepted.   Many rural areas now require residents to drive their recyclable items an hour or more into larger centers to bins or the dump which   already gets significant use due to increased population in the larger centers.

 In some communities the number of bins have in recent years been reduced. In other cases due to isolated vandalism, the bins have   been take away completely. Our
 community, it seems is one of those. When Our Community Commission first asked about our last bin, we were told it needed to be   repaired. Then after a couple of months we asked again and were told the repair wasn’t complete due to the whole COVID thing. A few weeks back we again decided we needed to ask, and today, we were told it's not coming back because it has needed multiple repairs in the last few years and our use is lower than many other places.

Bear Lake is not a perfect community, but the people here like it and are good folks and many have told me they would rather live here then anyplace else, and I agree. But as often is the case, some people go out of their way to create distractions for themselves, by doing stupid things that affect others without even thinking about the possible results. When it happens, it affects many if not all.

Our recycling bin(s) have received a great deal of use in the years we have lived here. My family have been staunch recyclers for many years, and currently our household waste ends up being less than one trash can for disposal every 2 to 3 weeks. A big part of this is because we faithfully deposit our defined recyclable materials in the local recycling bin(s).

Approximately two years ago, many residents in town were surprised when the two recycling bins we had at that time were reduced to one. Today, I found out that the one remaining bin that was taken away for a required repair 6 months ago due to a fire in the bin, will not be coming back.

Anyone in our area who recycles is familiar with the challenges involved, especially those who faithfully clean containers and ensure that product streams are usable. For us and many others, it has become relatively simple to accumulate material in a garage or carport, load a vehicle when it suits us, and take it to the local bin(s). I would expect the local regional district (RDFFG) to encourage depositing of recyclable materials, not make it more difficult.

In our area we already have plenty of things that use up our time. If people are required to take recyclables into Prince George to be properly disposed of, I believe you will find many who will simply not play the game and their contribution to recycling will drop to zero.

Also, I have very recently spoken with a couple of individuals on community commissions who have said that it doesn’t matter anyways since the RDFFG just has
the bins picked up and then dumped in the PG landfill and buried. I personally would like to know from the RDFFG what happens to all of the recycled glass, hard plastics, plastic bags, tin cans (and small metal bits), and paper and cardboard that is collected all over our vast region.

doit2.pngWhat’s the use of having a “Ministry of the Environment” or recycling initiatives if we just dump everything anyways? Maybe everyone all over the province should just stop buying anything and everything that comes with a recyclable cover/container... and only work with products that are already eco friendly, and only buy from people and businesses in our local communities. At least then we would know that we aren't buying a load of chemicals in our food or a ton of plastic to pollute
our environment or any of the other myriad of things we don’t need, and at the same time create real communities with real connections between the residents.


As we move through the 21st century, finding ways to reduce waste is an increasingly important part of minimizing our impact on our environment. By recycling more, we all can be part of the solution.

British Columbia likes to boast it is better than most other provinces at recycling, saying it has one of the most efficient recycling programs in Canada. I, for one find
that hard to believe based on what I have seen in my life. ‘Recycle BC’, a not-for-profit organization manages most of the home and community recycling in British Columbia. Created in 2014, after a 2011 law by the BC Ministry of Environment, transferring the cost of recycling from residents to producers.

Producers who sell products in British Columbia pay fees to ‘Recycle BC’ on a quarterly basis determined by how many kilograms of each material they sold in the
province. Items are then collected, sorted and sold to end-markets for processing into new products. In addition, there are also a number of extended category recyclables for things like electronics and tires...Recycling is collected from 156 communities in BC and those communities rely on a mix of bins and direct collection, all paid for by ‘Recycle BC’. Recycling is collected by local governments, regional districts, private collectors, First Nations, private and not-for-profit organizations - ̶ all collect packaging on behalf of ‘Recycle BC’.

doit3.pngWhat are people like you and I supposed to do when the “government and their puppet organizations” don’t do what they are supposed to do?

I certainly hope that you will join with many others in the province / country / continent / world, and tell our elected officials that these types of things are not acceptable. And if they don’t change the way things are being done, then we’ll have to start doing it ourselves.

Maybe it would be good idea to do it ourselves anyways?


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