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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Halifax now recycles most plastics

Change in policy means no more sorting bottles.

Posted By on Thu, Sep 8, 2011 at 4:00 AM

There’s an exciting change coming to a blue bag near you: HRM Recycling now accepts *all* plastic containers in blue bags. No more checking on the bottom of containers for numbers (formerly, HRM accepted only #1 and #2 plastics). The change will make recycling easier and increase the amount of waste diverted from the landfill.

Although non-container plastics (like bottle caps, toys, DVD cases, plastic cutlery, straws, pipe, packaging made of a combination of plastic and paper) and bulky items that don’t fit in the blue bag are still not accepted, Ecology Action Centre’s Internal Director, Maggy Burns, says it’s still a welcome change.

However, says Burns, this should not be seen as an invitation to start expanding the world’s plastic collection. “We’re less excited about plastics recycling over materials like metals or glass,” says Burns, who explains that plastics are not as easily recyclable---you can’t turn a shampoo bottle into another shampoo bottle, but instead have to create new products---some of them much-needed, like asphalt or children’s playgrounds, but still others are not-so-much-needed---in order to recycle them. Burns also points out that it’s important that Haligonians are well educated, not only about what goes where, but about what to purchase. “I prefer not buying over-packaged plastic products, or not buying them in the first place,” she says.

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