Part of the Cariboo Regional District’s Solid Waste Info Series: Becoming Waste Wise
Recylepedia? Not a word you will find in the dictionary but, it is used to describe a service that will answer all your recycling questions. The Recycling Council of British Columbia (RCBC) provides this service in combination with its call-in hotline. Every Regional District in the province pays RCBC about three cents per person, per year to support the recycling information services. RCBC maintains the most extensive and up-to-date waste and recycling database in Canada. All you have to do is ask for the information.
The RCBC website describes itself as “…a multi-sectoral, non-profit, membership-driven organization that facilitates the exchange of ideas and knowledge that enable efficient solutions to eliminate waste. Established in 1974, we are Canada’s longest-serving recycling council. We have led BC’s progressive policy of Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs and other initiatives to find innovative ways to eliminate waste and decrease British Columbia’s environmental footprint.”
You may ask yourself what Extended Producer Responsibility is. EPR is British Columbia’s method of providing recycling, also called “product stewardship.” The product stewardship model is comprised of several key players – manufacturers, retailers, governments, and consumers – working together with the ultimate goal of diverting products from landfills and ensuring they are responsibly recycled at their end-of-life. RCBC has helped shape these programs and provide EPR information to the public.
“The intention of EPR strategy is to promote the integration of environmental costs associated with goods throughout their life cycles into the market price of the products, thereby motivating producers to make and sell products that are more durable, contain fewer toxins, and never become waste at the end of their life,” said Craig Wisehart, chair, Stewardship Agencies of British Columbia (SABC).
What can you do to make sure EPR programs succeed at diverting products from landfills? It’s really quite simple: don’t throw away EPR products. Not sure if an item is covered by an EPR program? Not sure where your local EPR drop off location is? Call the RCBC hotline at 1-800-667-4321, visit the recycepedia at rcbc.ca, or download the Mobile Recyclepedia App and have the info at your fingertips.
It doesn’t matter if you are in Horsefly, Nimpo Lake, 108 Mile Ranch, Williams Lake, or Wells, the RCBC service will let you know where the closest location is to drop off your recyclable waste.
To date there are over 15 industry stewardship programs in the province including pharmaceuticals, outdoor power equipment, appliances, pesticides, electronics, antifreeze, thermostats, and cellphones to name a few.
Did you know… there are over 300 power tools and small appliances included in EPR programs, from angle saws to heat guns and grease guns to planers; sewing machines to clothing irons, fans to bathroom scales, blenders to coffee grinders, and the list goes on and on. Call RCBC to find out where your closest end of life power tool drop off location is.
Waste Wise education is delivered to students within the CRD, but the Regional District would like to make waste education available to everyone, and help change our waste handling habits for the better.
Please join us this year to become waste wise and make a difference. For direct access to our monthly topics “Like” us on Facebook at facebook.com/caribooregion, visit the CRD website at cariboord.ca, or look for our articles in your local paper.