The clear choice

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On a national level, Colchester County is a leader in the management of its waste.

Practices used here to sort, reduce, re-use and recycle are shining examples of how waste can be diverted from landfills.

However, this has not been an easy task and officials are still struggling to educate some on the proper flow of waste as it moves from homes to sorting centres or landfills.

It has been more than two years since Colchester County enacted a clear bag policy for garbage collection. During the first year this move resulted in a reduction of household and commercial garbage by 2,674 tonnes. Recycling and composting efforts were also boosted by this initiative.

The clear bag policy created a greater awareness of proper waste separation, which has continued.

County residents are permitted a maximum of five clear bags and one dark (privacy) bag per pickup, every other week.

A few years ago, this region had one of the highest disposal rates in the province.

Halifax regional council is in the process of seeking feedback from the public before deciding whether to shrink the number of garbage bags it will collect from six to four, along with switching to clear material instead of coloured plastic.

Media has reported some councillors call the proposed changes an invasion of privacy, heavy-handed and could lead to increased illegal dumping.

We have experienced so many gains since our home composting and clear bag program has been implemented.

Considering the size of our population, about 50,000 people, imagine how much waste could be reduced by the folks in metro, about 390,000 people, if they followed our model.

Is it perfect? No, more can always be done but nothing is gained by non-action.

As Nova Scotian’s, everyone should want to participate in environmental stewardship. The importance of which should be taught from infancy into adulthood and practiced in as many ways possible for the betterment of every citizen.

We invite decision-makers on this issue to speak to our residents and solid waste officials before they discard the idea of implementing a clear bag program.

 

Organizations: Halifax regional council

Geographic location: Colchester County

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