David Kassian, with the City of Penticton, talks about where Penticton’s recycling is processed at the library’s latest Learning at Lunch. (Photo from Unsplash)

What happens to Penticton’s recycling?

The Penticton Library’s latest Learning at Lunch talks Penticton’s recycling process

At the Penticton Library’s latest Learning at Lunch session, David Kassian, the sustainability coordinator for the City of Penticton, took aim at correcting some of the misconceptions about recycling in B.C.

“You may have seen a story from Marketplace on recycling last week,” said Kassian. “They found that of the three companies, only one recycled the plastic. That company was Merlin Plastic. The story was a bit misleading, and it didn’t separate commercial from residential recycling. Your recycling goes to Merlin, so all your plastic recycling is actually getting recycled.”

The hour-long session by Kassian offered residents a chance to find out not only where our recycling goes, but what happens to it, and what actually can be recycled. In B.C., it’s actually a lot, and it’s due in no small part to our program for making companies that produce the recyclables cover the costs for recycling.

“Last year China closed their doors to plastics coming in,” said Kassian. “There are cities like Winnipeg, where they have warehouses full of plastics that they don’t know what to do with now. They could increase taxes to cover it, or they could be like B.C. and make the producers pay for it.”

The B.C. model has been so effective that other provinces are looking to its programs as blueprints for their own. It has even gained international recognition, with Kassian mentioning during his presentation how last week he had been on a conference call with South Carolina, who were hoping to emulate B.C.’s system.

For more information about what you can recycle, and where it goes, you can go to recyclebc.ca.

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