LETTER: Removing recycling bins not the answer

Upon arriving for our volunteer host job at Home Basin in the White Swan provincial park, we immediately noticed a big problem. B.C. Parks had a new policy to deal with campers leaving bear attractants in their camp sites. One of the things they did was to remove the recycle bins as they were not bear proof. This turned out to be a major problem as just about everyone was tossing all their refundable bottles and cans in the garbage resulting in overflowing garbage. Daily, people were complaining to us about no recycling. We saw literally thousands of bottles tossed resulting in bags of garbage that the operators could barely lift. We even took 12 big bags of bottles home and sorted them out. We feel that half of the garbage that went right into the landfill was refundable. It could have been returned for a lot of money.

We talked to a ranger who was issuing tickets to campers. We told him that we had never had a problem with the recycle bins in our 10 years of hosting in July. This was only the second time a ranger had talked to us in 10 years. We are probably their best eyes and ears up there. He said that the recycle was not in the budget, maybe next year.We said this was 2019 and we don’t throw away recycle anymore. We also suggested putting signs up encouraging people to take their stuff home. Also we thought a sign to put refundables out beside the garbage tins after 9am. This would allow the operators to pick them up and take them where they could be recycled. Our answer was that signs took time to make .Common sense was not being used. It would have been a good alternative until blue bins were in place. They should have come up with something before removing the bins as all 5 Campgrounds were full many nights. This is about 115 camp sites .They made sure to have a blue bin at the Lussier Hot Springs where you are not supposed to have liquor and don’t pay to use. We noticed Wasa has blue bins all over. They should be up at White Swan.

B.C. Parks should be held accountable for all this extra stuff in the landfill. The people throwing bottles out should also be accountable. You pack those bottles in full means you should pack them out empty. We took all of our own recycle home. Our garbage was 3 little bags for the month. Maybe we need a law that you have to take bottles home from our parks. Would sure help our already battered planet.

Rochelle and Randy Wallach

Kimberley B.C.

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