Many people know that I promote community recycling. I am often asked recycling questions when I am out and about. Here are some examples.
“Oh, I was going to ask you. Are coffee cans recyclable?”
“It depends what kind of container it is. If it is only plastic or metal, it is recyclable. Coffee containers made of metal and cardboard are not recyclable because it is a mixed material. But all the lids from coffee cans are recyclable.”
“This plastic bag has the number 4 inside the recycling symbol. Does that mean you recycle it?”
“Unfortunately, we do not recycle any plastic bags or ‘film plastic’ as it is known in the industry. We cannot find a market for it even if there is a recycling number on it.”
The third conversation I overheard while eating lunch in a local restaurant.
“Most places give you money when you take in your recycling. Then it makes sense to recycle.”
It is correct that in most provinces you can get ten cents for returning beverage containers. In Manitoba, this is only available for beer containers.
In those other provinces, your beverage costs more. For example, in Saskatchewan you will pay a ten cent deposit and a six cent recycling levy when you buy an average bottle or can of pop.
When you return the container you will get your ten cent deposit back. The six cents is used to pay for the deposit system.
This is 14 cents more expensive than in Manitoba where you pay a two cent enviro levy. It is used to subsidize municipalities for their recycling costs and pays for the free ‘Recycle Everywhere’ bins.