If it’s organic it’s recyclable. The world’s best and truest recycling is organic because organic is 100% recyclable and actually gets 100% recycled at the city organic landfill facility and converted to real honest to goodness soil. Farmers and gardeners have been composting for centuries. Public pressure forced cities to implement modern city composting facilities and today most western countries have some kind of green bin program in place – Calgary included.
For homes and families that means our food waste, lawn clippings and leaves go in the green bin that gets hauled away to the city organic recycling centre and through a complex process and a multi-million dollar facility out comes really good honest rich soil that you get to pick up, usually for free, to put back in your garden.
Green bin programs are really the only true recycling system. Most paper waste (90% or more) and plastic is not recyclable and ends up in the landfill. Most blue box programs recycle less than 10% into marketable material – and goes straight to the landfill. And it needs to be recognized that marketability of recyclables is very important as it’s private companies that may buy recyclable paper, plastic and metal but, sadly, most – 90% – is rejected and can’t used in the after-market – if private enterprise can’t use it – it’s garbage for the landfill and so far that’s where 90% of blue box material unfortunately ends up.
We used to ship plastic and paper to China and Philippines till they said “No more”. Municipalities are now forced to keep blue box waste and deal with the fact that regardless of what our politicians tell us, most blue box waste is just that – and after sorting out the small amount of recyclable material – it goes the landfill.
Anyway, thanks to Calgary’s great public composting program most organic waste becomes rich valuable soil. That includes leaves, grass clippings, prunings, all of which contribute to the program and not the landfill. Free topsoil is available to the public – something gardeners should know.
The Green Bin program is a great way for everyone to contribute to helping recycle natural waste that gets converted to something we all need – soil – and from that beautiful flowers and tomatoes and cucumbers in our gardens.
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