Chilliwack school district explores new recycling program

Chilliwack school district has started the process of doing away with the garbage bin model in schools.

Starting July 1, a pilot, single-stream recycling program will be implemented at all school sites where all recyclables – paper, plastics, metals and other such containers – will be collected in one bin and shipped to a separate facility for sorting.

As well, a composting and removal service will also be provided at Chilliwack secondary and Sardis secondary to complement the food programs offered at those schools.

First Class Waste Services was awarded the contract and will be working concurrently with Super Save Disposal, the district's current waste removal provider.

Surely good news for parent Kristina Daneluz, who spoke at a recent board of education meeting imploring the district to look into more environmentally friendly options for waste removal.

While Super Save Disposal provides a recycling service for paper and cardboard, there is no place for plastic containers, tin cans, pop cans, or sandwich bags – all items that could theoretically be recycled.

"Schools are still producing metals, glasses, plastics, but there's nowhere to put it," said Daneluz, who has a child attending Sardis elementary.

"We need to be thinking of garbage as collect, sort and sell, not collect and dump. There are things we're throwing in the landfill and burying that we could actually be sorting and selling."

Daneluz believes recycling is a behaviour that can be changed, and said the school district needs to lead by example.

"If you make it easy for people, the more likely they will do it," she said.

However, because the school district is under contract with Super Save Disposal until 2014, it can't implement major change until that contract expires.

In two years time, when the Super Save Disposal contract is up, the school district will again review its options.

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