Recent Items – 2002
July 4, 2002, By Jamie Dirom, Daily News Staff
With dumping fees for cardboard rising significantly, the regional district’s waste reduction program is stepping up efforts to encourages businesses to start recycling.
Community Environmental Educator Anna Strapko has been contacting businesses, offering them help in developing recycling programs tailored to their operations.
The intent, Strapko said, is to educate businesses about the environmental and economic benefits of recycling cardboard and paper, as well as other items.
In a landfill, cardboard takes up an awful lot of space–it can take up as much as 10 times more space than other garbage because of inefficient compaction.
With more than 50 per cent of garbage being generated by the business sector, a lot of it comes in the form of paper and cardboard Ð cutting out those easily recyclable items can go a long way to being more friendly to landfills.
“There are a lot of businesses in Dawson Creek that are committed to recycling,” Strapko said.
She estimated that about a third of local businesses are involved, but that does leave room for improvement.
It doesn’t cost anything for businesses to drop off their cardboard for recycling, and Strapko hopes this will encourage businesses to take up her offer, rather than continue to pay at the landfill.
If that happens, Dawson Creek can be expected to continue as a leader in recycling in the B.C. Peace.
From December to February of this year, Dawson Creek had collected 289.3 tonnes of recyclable materials, compared with 134 in Fort St. John. More than 55 per cent of the total collected in the Peace was cardboard.
Under new regulations, which came into effect July 1, the Peace River Regional District upped the cardboard fee to $75 per tonne or $6 per cubic metre — the old rate was $2 per cubic metre. Wire rope is prohibited at lengths greater than 1.2 metres and coated metal pipe (also known as yellow jacket pipe) is prohibited if unstripped.
While the regulations may pose challenges for businesses, recycling programs in the area have been recognized for their exceptional efforts. Earlier this year, the Northern Environmental Action Team was awarded the Recycling Council of B.C.’s non-profit organization award.
NEAT was formed in 1989 as a volunteer-run, community-based group with the mandate to conduct a range of conservation-related activities to find local solutions to environmental concerns.
“It is fabulous to be recognized by a provincial organization for our work in the north,” said NEAT co-ordinator Sally Emory after receiving the award.
For more information about the program to help businesses contact Anna Strapko at 782-6399.