Recycling is part of a bigger picture called waste management. It used to be simple. Everything we didn’t want went to the dump. Over time we realized that these dumps were taking up a lot of space and leaking hazardous stuff into lakes and streams.
We also realized that much of it could be recycled. Metals have been recycled for a very long time. Household recycling began in earnest in the last 40 years in North America.
Most landfills need a map for the public to sort their waste. At the Flin Flon landfill there is a place for metal, tires, car batteries, oil, construction and household. Any electronics that arrive are set aside for the Recycling Centre.
Creighton has a place for all of these as well except and tires.
There could be more. Programs are in place to help municipalities recover hazardous waste and to compost yard waste and vegetable leftovers.
New landfills are designed to capture all the leachate, the liquid produced as water runs through garbage. Older landfills need to ensure it is not running into lakes and streams. Many landfills either capture the methane produced by garbage for energy or burn it to reduce the effect of greenhouse gases.
Municipalities are responsible for waste management and provinces regulate it. It is expensive which is why most landfills charge tipping fees.
Our economy needs people to buy more all the time so landfills fill up as people get rid of the old to make way for the new.
Municipalities are wise to have a plan for dealing with waste so it can be done most efficiently and effectively and meet the requirements of regulations.