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Letter: Public input needed on recycling centres

Surely there is more to recycling than maximizing profit, says letter writer

I am frankly appalled that Mountain View Regional Waste Management Commission has removed the recycling bins from the Landfill centres in this county, including Sundre, Water Valley, Olds, Innisfail, Cremona, Midway and Eagle Hill.

The Albertan had an article recently (Aug. 8th), headlined “Cardboard disposal costs will be minimal.” It doesn’t mention the fact that cans, plastics, glass and newspaper were also included in the recycling bins. The commission’s chairman went on to say “there was no market for the products”

I do appreciate that the economics of recycling are broken. Firstly, the petrochemicals companies that make plastics rely less on recyclables when their core commodity, oil, is lower and secondly, China stopped importing recyclable waste in 2018, a move followed by other countries. Both issues affect the the business model of recycling, but surely there is more to recycling than maximizing profit?

While I have seen no blowback locally to the cancelling of the recycling bins, I believe that consumers want to do the right thing. Even if it cost $400,000 a year, we have been taught that by reducing our waste and recycling what we can, we can live a more eco-friendly Iife and reduce the amount of unhealthy greenhouse gas emissions.

If the reality is that the contents of the recycling bins ended up in the landfill anyway, then, indeed, they are a waste of money. However, I would like to see some public input into this decision and some research into alternative waste disposal providers in Central Alberta. No doubt in the long run, we all need to consume less, but surely recycling should not be abandoned without a fight?

Laura Cassells,


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