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March 21, 2010

The Recycling Bubble - Winnipeg & Garbage, 2010 (by Margaret Ullrich)

Recycling is the new religion.

The mark of a good, responsible, God-fearing, earth-loving Winnipeg citizen is having more than one bright blue box jam packed and brimming over with recycling each and every week.


Recycling will save your soul.

Recycling will save the environment.

Recycling will save Winnipeg money.

Maybe.


The R.M.s of Headingley and Macdonald are having to pay more to recycle because there's been a crash in the value of recycled materials.


Crash? As in the Stock Market? As in the housing market? As in tanking RRSPs?


Yesirree. Let's face it, folks. If the price of gold and shiny new stuff can take a hit, do you think the value of garbage is anything on which to base a city's economy? Do you really think we're going to barter with old water bottles as if they were gold bars?


Headingly CAO Chris Fulsher said, "Right now the markets have gone south as far as recycling products are concerned - there are no markets for the recycling products. So right now we are paying more to recycle that we would if we were to dispose of these materials as solid waste."


Using more highly technical government jargon, Macdonald CAO Tom Raine explained, "When the market went all to heck last year, processors were charging him per tonne of recycling instead of paying him per tonne."


In December 2008 there was an economic downtown that reduced the market for recycled materials across North America and recycling facilities had an excess of recyclable materials that couldn't be sold.


And every week, as we've been ordered to do, we churn out more.


Whoops.


Have a great day. How can you miss - you're in Winnipeg!

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