Every Monday, I go down to the garbage/recycling room at Vancouver Cohousing and haul out refundable bottles and cans plus stretchy plastics and white styrofoam to the nearby Return-It depot.
This is my regular duty as part of the garbage/recycling committee, one of many teams that help make it possible for us to maintain our 31-unit complex, increase our sense of caring, sharing and sustainability, and keep our condo fees down.
We pay a waste management company to take away garbage, plastic containers, glass, mixed papers and some of our organic waste, while the bulk goes into our compost bins.
Since I sold my house in 2004 I’ve lived mostly in multi-family buildings where the level of awareness about recycling has been very spotty, leading to all kinds of inappropriate junk being thrown into recycling bins.
I’m proud of how much we divert from the landfill, including batteries, small electronics, non-stretchy plastics, ink cartridges and CDs. We also have a share shelf in the common house where we leave things other people could use. And we loan stuff to each other all the time.
Our members are very careful to identify and sort our recyclables. About every two weeks, I take my garbage and recycling down to the room and I can generally hold the amount going into the garbage bin in one hand.
At the Return-It depot, I further sort the refundables into categories like wine bottles, beer and pop bottles, beer and pop cans, juice containers and plastic bottles. And then I take them to a cashier.
This week’s haul was $17. Since we moved in at the end of February we’ve collected $575 for our general revenue.
Some of the conscientious ways we sort our recyclables.
The refundables in the back of my Honda – they don’t call it a Fit for nothing.
Cashing in refundables at the Return-It depot.