Penticton Western News letters to the editor.

Letter: Recycling system is awful

Returning recyclables for a deposit is a painful process

Since I moved here I have only returned recyclables for deposit a few times because it is so painful to do it here.

Where I came from in Alberta I used to fill the back of my truck and go through an indoor drive-thru (because of the winter there). I would bring them to an open window with a large shelf and a plastic swimming pool. I would dump the loose ones into the pool and someone on the other side would sort them into barrels and write down a ledger of them. Cases of cans were accepted in the boxes because they were all 10 cents. Alcohol had no bearing on the value of the material. What made it simple for all was that every container up to one litre was 10 cents and every container over one litre was 25 cents. I could have the whole truck done for over $80 or even over $100 in a short time. The person would give me a slip and I would take it to the cashier for the money.

Here I have to park outside on a slope and load everything onto a small cart. Then push it up the slope. Recently, I stood the bags against my truck to let me get the cart up and bags fell over and it was a disaster as I had bottles and cans rolling down the slope. Unbelievable; to recycle a plastic water bottle I have to remove the plastic cap and throw it out. I can understand having to remove the metal caps from wine bottles, but what is wrong with recycling the plastic cap with the plastic bottle (like in Alberta)? I get some dilapidated cardboard trays to try and stand the water bottles in and push the cart very carefully on the rough tiled floor to the counter. Well, I don’t have to go through all the grueling details as I’m sure most people reading this have gone through this. After about an hour there, I received $24.70.

I think what the system here is trying to tell me is that the 20-cent and 10-cent containers might be worth my time to return, but things like the five-cent water bottles I might just as well throw into the trash for the landfill. Not very environmentally responsible I know, but I didn’t create the awful system here.

Jerrilynn DeCock


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