Is our current blue/grey box program sustainable?


As we mark Earth Week, a week to remind us to reduce, reuse and recycle, a Toronto based consultant is issuing a warning that current municipal recycling programs may be unsustainable.

Maria Kelleher, whose firm Kelleher Environmental specializes in recycling strategy and program design, says recycling companies are not getting the money they used to for selling recycled materials.

She says China used to buy up our old plastics, but have now passed new standards on what they will accept and most of our plastics do not meet the new criteria.

She also says we are throwing more plastics than ever into blue bins which are more difficult and expensive to collect, sort and recycle.

Kelleher adds compounding the problem is the amount of food, particularly pre-cooked, now sold in plastic containers at grocery stores.