10 Ways to Improve Recycling in Highlands East

As you know, the Blue Box recycling program has been in effect in the Municipality of Highlands East for many years. But did you know that Recycling is mandatory for municipalities and is becoming more expensive every year to administer? In 2018 Highlands East paid $80,000 to haul and process 430 tonnes of recycled materials that is generated by our residents and businesses. Each municipality must develop its own waste management and recycling program and must be in compliance with the Environmental Protection Act.

There have been many recent media articles and broadcasts regarding recycling markets becoming less and less profitable which may cause some materials to no longer be accepted as part of our recycling program in the very near future. We all need to be mindful of these developments and attempt to change our purchasing habits to reduce our overall impact on our environment.

The residents of Highlands East are committed to the recycling program, but there are many things that can be done to ensure our program is successful.

Recycling Tips

  1. Take some time to review what is recyclable in Highlands East. It might not be the same in other municipalities. There is a downloadable recycling guide on the municipal website that will help you understand what is, and isn’t, recyclable. 
  2. Make sure you only place acceptable items in your recycling. Otherwise the entire contents can become contaminated and will be rejected by the recycling processor. Posting the Recycling Guide where you store your recyclable materials may help remind you about what should go into each container.
  3. Rinse bottles, jars and other containers. If they are not clean they may contaminate other material that is deposited into blue box for recycling.
  4. Try to buy items with minimal packaging.
  5. Try to use reusable containers/bags when shopping.
  6. Try to choose retailers that reduce packaging.
  7. Use refillable containers for drinks. Plastic bottles and paper cups are a large portion of recycling materials and are getting more difficult to process and sell in the recycling market today.
  8. Share magazines and newspapers with friends.
  9. Consider taking a plastic bag when you go for a walk to pick up garbage and recyclables.
  10. Choose to compost to lessen the impact on the landfill. The added bonus is the composted material goes back in your garden.

The Municipality has invested in the establishment of a new Waste Info App to be added to the website in the near future and this resource should be able to address any questions/concerns you may have regarding recycle and waste programs at our landfills.