Recycling racks

garbagecan.jpgWhen I first went to downtown Vancouver just over a year ago I was surprised by the lack of garbage cans and separate recycling bins on the street. Compared to what I was used to (and I won’t use that city name that gets me ostracized on a regular basis,) in the city where I previously lived, there were combination garbage / glass / popcan / newspaper bins on every street corner downtown. It was strange not to see the same here, especially when I always considered Vancouver to be a far more environmentally responsible place.

I found it a little unnerving to discover people rooting through every garbage bin they could find for pop cans to bring back in for the deposit. It just wasn’t something I was used to. I felt bad when I threw cans and bottles out, so I started just leaving them somewhere that wasn’t in the garbage.

When I noticed all the new racks on the garbage cans, that made me kind of happy. I’m not entirely certain if they put those there for the same reason that I used to leave my empties on benches, but I’d like to think so.

Photo: Jenny Lee Silver

3 Comments so far

  1. Matt (unregistered) on December 9th, 2005 @ 9:15 am

    Yes, I thought the recycling racks were a great idea as well — eases pedestrians’ consciences that they’re not throwing good recyclables in the garbage, reduces the tendency for homeless people to root through the trash, and supports the homeless and others in their ad hoc job of collecting recyclables and returning them for cash (a role I’ve always respected because it supports both the recycling effort and the city’s cleanliness).

    It’s even better that I continue to see more and more of the recycling racks on trash bins in the downtown core.

    The only downside is that many of the racks are not clearly labelled, and I’m not sure if people know what they’re for.

  2. wyn (unregistered) on December 9th, 2005 @ 10:08 am

    I applauded GVR when I first saw those wraparound container-holders although I must say I have never observed a container lingering in there. I imagine it would be really easy for a loiterer to pick up a bottle/can as s/he is passing by and it seems like this is the solution – without introducing those huge four-bin monoliths seen in other cities – to Vancouver’s thus-far lack of recycling receptacles.

  3. Ariadna (unregistered) on December 9th, 2005 @ 12:54 pm

    I was so stoked when I got the press release from the city stating that they were going to be installing more of these bins in the city. What really pisses me off, though, is the fact that it says that the rack is for recyclable empties but people use it to put their empty coffee cups.

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