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2014 February Pender Post

The depot management and staff asked me to thank the Pender Island recyclers for their patience and good humor during the very busy holiday period at the depot, including a one-day record car-count day. Line-ups and lots of “Which bin do I put this in?” queries, but as usual, with patience and teamwork, it all worked out. The staff and management also appreciated your random gifts, donations, smiles, homemade treats and, of course, the c-h-o-c-o-l-a-t-e.

Speaking of chocolate, Valentines Day is breathing down our neck - not quite the same as blowing in our ear, but close. Show that you care by avoiding the over packaging and fancy cellophane wrapping. Your Valentine, not to mention Mother Earth, will be most appreciative.

Ready for this month’s science quiz? No doubt some brilliant scientist or university professor has already studied the problem and found the answer. But, could someone please tell me why the reusable fabric bags are never in the car when I go shopping? I frequently resort to juggling groceries from store to car.

I could accept a plastic bag. Why not, there are an estimated one trillion plastic bags produced worldwide every year? Yes, one trillion. No big deal. Use a plastic bag, and throw it away. Guess what? There is no away. Bags (now called film) go into landfills and take 1000 years to fully biodegrade. Before becoming landfill fodder, bags often just blow away. Oops, not away, they blow to some other place.

According to a 2008 L.A. County report, plastic bags made up as much as 25%, by weight, of all garbage flowing out to sea on the Los Angeles River. Plastic bags and other forms of plastic have a devastating effect on sea turtles and other species of marine life. As of January 1, 2014, Los Angeles, with a population very close to 4,000,000 is the largest city in the world to have banned single use plastic bags. Imagine Pender Island adding a touch of L.A. lifestyle! In this case, we should. For more information please Google “L.A. bans plastic bags.”

At the depot we see more and more plastic packaging and film. Film no longer has any value. We must pay someone to take it. What was once a tiny source of income for the depot has now become a cost. Based on the new 2014 recycling memberships already sold (only $15 at your local recycling depot), we know we have your support, but we all must continue to reduce, refuse (excess plastic and packaging), reuse, and recycle.

The following words are the words of a local singer, song writer, “Being responsible at times may seem to cost, but I believe that in the long run, our depot recyclers save money and our environment (putting recyclables, especially plastics, in the trash, is expensive in more ways than one and poisons our world). If we are not recycling, reducing, reusing, refurbishing, repairing or composting, then what are we doing, and at what cost? Thanks Les.

It is thinking like that which reminds us to consider the next generation, so that they to can say, “they’re all good days on Pender.”

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