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What to do with all that waste, and other really good questions

Posted: October 16, 2019

What to do with all that waste, and other really good questions

Did you know that more than half of your household waste can be recycled?

Recycling is a great way to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the landfill.  Recycling helps transform materials such as plastics and paper into new materials, but knowing what can be recycled can be confusing.

Occasionally, we place things in our recycling bins that don't belong there - and they can contaminate useful recycling materials resulting in them being sent to the landfill along with our garbage.

Here are some tips to help you recycle more accurately and effectively!

How do I know if something is recyclable?
An easy way to determine if an item might be recyclable is to look for the recycling symbol located on the packaging.  Sometimes materials have a symbol but are not recyclable in our municipality.  For East St. Paul #1, #2, #3, #4, #5, and #7 plastics are recyclable.  You can also check the recycling guide on the RM website if you are unsure.
Can I recycle coffee cups?
Coffee cups have a plastic lining that helps them hold liquid without breaking down.  For this reason, coffee cups should go in your garbage.  To reduce your coffee cup waste, use a reusable cup or mug when you're grabbing your morning coffee and save dollars!

The problem with plastic bags ...
A total of 2.86 billion plastic bags are used annually in Canada, 200 for every single person.  And, plastic bags are only used for an average of 12 minutes - a short amount of time for something with such high environmental costs.

They blow around and litter the community and many make their way to oceans where birds, fish and marine life get tangled in them.

They don't biodegrade - they just break down into smaller pieces called micro plastics and are ingested by wildlife, eventually ending up in our food chain.
Use reuseable shopping bags, or if you do use plastic, return them to a designated collection site.
In East St. Paul, you can take them to Sobeys or the RM Municipal Office.  Plastic bags collected by the municipality are being reused by Winnipeg Harvest to distribute groceries.
What else can I do?

Recycle!  If you are wanting extra space for your normal recyclables, you can pick up a free, smaller, in home recycling bin from the RM Municipal Office.

The Municipal Office also has collection bins for used eye glasses, small batteries and cell phones.  See MMSM's web site for electronic waste drop off locations.

The East St. Paul Farmers Market held a very successful Electronics Recycling Day on Sept. 8th that collected 2,750 pounds of e-waste!  All electronics collected were recycled or refurbished by Mother Earth Recycling (with owner's permission).  Great job East St. Paul.

Reuse!  Local charities also take reusable items and it is a great way to support the community.

Reduce!  Don't get us wrong, recycling is great!  But, it is even better to not create waste in the first place.  If we make different choices every day we can reduce how much there is to dispose of, lower the chance of plastics and other pollution harming the environment, and probably save money.


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