Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Read on….you never know, you may learn something new!

After public displays we tend to have a list of questions which need to be answered. Here is our Q and A from Lunar New Year. Thanks to Garry and Myles for the wise responses!

Q: Why do light bulbs and batteries need to go to the Eco Station?
A: Fluorescent tubes and bulbs are the only light bulbs that are recycled but we request that all light bubs and light fixtures be taken to Eco Stations for two reasons:
1) The bits of glass and trace elements in the light bulbs bring down the quality of the compost made at the Composting Facility and
2) it's a simplified message - ALL light bulbs and lighting goes to Eco Stations.

Q: What is the best container for cooking oil disposal so that the grease goes to the composter?
A: Any plastic bottle with a screw-top lid, like the one the oil came in, would be best. It has to have some strength so as not to open easily when it's being compacted after the collector has put it into his truck. It likely won't be composted however because a larger container (1 litre or more) is likely to get sifted out from the organics stream and landfilled.

Q: How can we recycle caps and lids?
A: Caps and lids are garbage in our City of Edmonton program but some Bottle Depots collect the caps for charity as part of the “Caps Off” program. Proceeds raised through this initiative will help support the Rainbow Society of Alberta, an organization that grants wishes to Alberta children with chronic or life threatening illnesses. See website for more info.

Q: Can you recommend a bottle collection and donation program for an office?
A: "Empties to Winn" is the Winnifred Stewart program. There are probably others in Edmonton. Please comment if you know of other mentionable programs.

Q: How much does a mat made of recycled tires cost and where can it be purchased?
A: Unsure of the cost but you can get them from Champagne Editions among other places.

Q: We don’t want to buy blue bags but we would still like to recycle. Is this possible?
A: You do not need blue bags when you take recyclables to one of the 22 Recycle Depots in Edmonton. You can even recycle clothing at 16 of these depots! We will collect from blue boxes if people have them but we don't recommend them. Wind can blow contents out of the boxes and cause littering.

Thanks for taking these great questions from Edmontonians!


  1. The Youth Emergency Shelter has a "Recycle for Youth" program. They provide a recycle bin (of sorts) for your office and you and your work mates fill it up with cans/bottles/milk containers and the money goes to helping homeless youth. Call 780-468-7070 to have one sent to you!

  2. Hyperlink heaven:

    Bottle Depot 'Caps Off' Program

    Winnifred Stewart 'Empties to Winn' Program

    Recycled tire mats
    - Champagne Edition (Eco-Flex is a division of Champagne Edition, an Edmonton-based company) http://eco-flex.com
    - Alberta Recycling Management Authority's list of recycled rubber product companies http://www.albertarecycling.ca/BasicContent.aspx?id=334
    - Other recycled products for flooring options can be purchased in Edmonton at Carbon Environmental Boutique (http://carbonboutique.com/products.php?c1=1000) and Raising Spaces (http://www.raisingspaces.com/?s=flooring)

    On the topic of not wanting to buy blue bags, I think it's nice to let people know the blue bin is still an option for home owners. Also, clear bags are often cheaper and larger than blue bags, and they are just fine for recyclables. I wonder if people might start getting confused about recycling clothing at depots, because most people do not decifer between 'recycling' and 'reusing' so if the clothes are still good, they might drop it off at a depot thinking it will be picked up for reuse. Am I correct in thinking that the clothing donations at the depots are recycled as fiber?