Re: “RecycleBank Comes to Canada” (June/July 2008 edition) It was with some interest that I read your editorial about RecycleBank in the June/July issue of SW&R. Because green is in, it was inevitable that companies would spring up to take advantage of the economic opportunities available in this field, legitimate and otherwise. While this program might appear on the surface to be a “green” initiative, I believe that your closing paragraphs actually describe it more accurately and these concerns should have gotten more prominence in the editorial. This program is in fact an incentive to throw out packaging, which is of course a backhanded incentive to purchase more products in disposable packaging. A consumer who puts no waste at the curb is considered by this system to be shirking their duties to society, when in fact they might be far ahead of the pack by producing well below-average waste in the first place. Reducing our waste (and our consumption) is the first and most important “R.” Reusing products is also very important, and recycling is simply the last resort when we have failed at the first two options. Promoting this option at the expense of the others is oxymoronic.
Mark Shoalts, P. Eng. Fenwick, Ontario
Re: “Plastics industry scolded over attacks on paper” (website news) John Mullinder makes a good point then undermines it by taking a swipe at plastics –hardly the way to encourage a more mature debate.
Re: Radiation in waste
Being the first elected Radiation Supervisor for the City of Toronto, I wonder if there will be any mention of radioactive material found in curbside or industrial collected waste by municipalities, for the protection of solid waste handler, having to deal with Uranium-238, Radium-226, Cobalt-60 and others. Due to my concerns the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) is developing new policy and procedures for all employers having to deal with these materials.
John A. Harwood rrn@mail