What does a Garden Gnome do when she is not gardening, in the kitchen or doing genealogy? Well the answer might just surprise you so read the entries to find out more. This blog focuses on everything we do to make our house a home. There will be a strong emphasis on home energy efficiency and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects. At the same time there will also be crafts, knitting and crocheting projects along with any other little tips we do to create that down to earth, I want to be here home. Please enjoy your visit :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

New Recycling Bins

Our municipality announced that we would be getting new recycling bins this week but we had to pick them up ourselves.  The great news is not only are they larger but they are FREE!  When we moved here last September there were no recycling bins even though the previous owner should have left them with the property.  We have a 2-stream recycling program using a black box for fibre products and a blue box for food, beverage and liquid containers.  The first couple of times we put our blue box items in clear blue recycle bags and they wouldn't take them so I called the town.  They said the recyclables had to be in a bin so I asked for bins.  They said it would be $10 a piece to which I told them we just moved in and there were no bins.  Finally, they gave the two bins for free but only because there weren't any here.

Apparently our municipality is concerned that recycling has reached a plateau in the community and may even be declining.  They are issuing the free bins as an incentive to increase recycling to prevent recyclable items from ending up in the general garbage.  In reality, recycling is not the answer.  It costs money for picking up the recyclables and transporting them to the recycling plant and all that gasoline used to do so is leaving a very big carbon footprint.  Personally, we do not need larger recycling bins.  You see, foods put up are home canned (everything from beans (eg. baked beans) to soups, to stews, jams, jellies, fruits, vegetables, meats, fish and poultry) or home dried or frozen.  I use mason jars for home canning and those jars get used a multitude of times until they break which is rather rare. That means we buy very little in the way of foods packaged in cans, glass jars or plastic.  We cook mainly from scratch and we are very careful in avoiding excess packaging.  We compost and a soon to be installed garburator will take care of just about everything we can't compost.  We don't have a newspaper subscription and very seldom buy magazines.  Honestly, it takes us over a month just to fill the two recycling bins we have right now! 

Quite frankly, the municipality should rethink their plan.  Instead of larger recycle bins they should be encouraging reducing and in fact they are to some degree.  I do think that is part of the trend they are seeing really.  Those who are eco-friendly are already reducing to begin with and manufacturers are reducing packaging.  The Ontario government has implemented a 5¢ per plastic bag mandatory surcharge for all businesses so there are less plastic bags being used.  Many are using cloth shopping bags, cardboard boxes or plastic bins at grocery stores.  Still, I don't see this trend in other stores though.  Our municipality has also started a website where you can post items you want to get rid of or for items you want.  The problem is Kijiji and the local Freecycle already cover this need.  Our municipality is trying so what it really needs is support from the community.  Nothing that can go into the recycle bins should ever be put into the garbage

Garden Gnome