Long ago Canadians, like the citizens of many countries, were properly educated with regards to the wastefulness of our ways. The paper, cardboard and pop cans that we consumed on a daily basis could be reused and recycled rather than simply thrown away, we realized.
As a result, recycling programs sprung up across the country. According to the Waste Atlas, Canada’s rate of collection coverage stood at 99 per cent by 2012 while its recycling rate stood at a more modest 26.8 per cent. Not great, but certainly better than zero.
And zero is precisely the amount of paper that has been recycled at Golden’s public schools since the start of 2015, a fact that has several of Golden’s educators upset.
One local teacher spoke to The Golden Star on the condition of anonymity.
“I asked about it and it was confirmed that we no longer have recycling,” the source said, while lamenting how much paper gets used in the school system and now goes to waste. “The crazy thing is that there’s still the little blue bins and what look like the blue recycling containers in the office that you dump all of the photocopied paper and stuff in, but they don’t go to recycling.”
Beginning on January 1 of 2015 some significant changes were made to the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s recycling program as a result of the district’s partnership with Multi Materials BC (MMBC). Among the changes were an increase in the number of materials accepted for recycling and limited hours of operation based on a particular depot’s schedule (the Bottle Depot for Golden). Under the new regulations, commercially generated recycling would no longer be accepted, including those of educational institutions.
For its part, Rocky Mountain School District No. 6, which has had a recycling program in place in Golden since 1991, says it is working on a solution.
“Since (January) the school district has been investigating options, and the Board understands that the CSRD is looking into commercial/institutional recycling solutions for the community. The Board is hopeful that there will be a solution in place soon,” said Superintendant Paul Carriere in an e-mail.
The sooner the better according to many teachers in Golden, including the local teacher that was willing to be interviewed for this story. With the amount of wasted paper beginning to pile up, it’s time for some accountability, the source said.
“The sentiment from those I’ve talked to about it is certainly shared…somebody’s gotta be accountable because that’s a lot of recyclable waste.”