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October 23, 2017 10:42 pm

Games Provide a Recycling Message

Sunday, March 1, 2015 @ 3:58 AM
Put it in the right container, the message from pink-hatted Mike Peterson.  Photo 250 News

Put it in the right container, the message from pink-hatted Mike Peterson. Photo 250 News

Prince George, B.C. – Make sure you put it in the right container. The basic point behind recycling and the focus of the “Waste Mob” held in the Canada Games Plaza Saturday afternoon.

The event was the brainchild of Mike Peterson, 2015 Canada Winter Games Volunteer Lead for Environmental Services. He says the whole idea is to raise awareness of waste diversion, otherwise known as recycling and he thought this a unique way to do that. “It’s been a little bit outside the box thinking, trying to bring awareness to recycling. By thinking outside the box we’re actually jumping in the canisters. What we’re going to try to do is use the opportunity to educate the public, athletes, spectators, everyone on the value of diverting waste from the landfills.”

Peterson says “the Winter Games set a target of 655 waste reduction. We’re not likely going to reach that target, and that’s largely due to a lot of food waste going into the system. When we’ve got athletes here that are basically eating parents out of house and home, there’s just so much waste associated with it and it just weighs so much.”

“Regardless of that I think we’re still using this as a great opportunity to demonstrate the value of diverting.   A lot of our venues have never diverted or recycled before so this is, again, a great opportunity to do that.

And I think we’re really leveraging the exposure of the games just to bring awareness of recycling in general to the north.”

Peterson says “one of the sponsors that we have for the games is Emterra. They’re taking all of the recycled goods that we have back to their facility and then sorting it and then running it through their process.” He says the recyclables were categorized during the games. “We’ve got a general waste stream, a paper recycling stream and then we’ve got a container stream, basically drink containers but also some sandwich containers like plastics and whatnot that can be recycled. We also have, specifically down at Games Village, some glass recycling because glass can actually contaminate the other recyclables when it gets compacted, so I believe there’s a safety issue associated with that.”

Asked whether the food waste might be processed for use in some way, Peterson says “that was something we weren’t able to do here. Dealing with food waste there’s a lot of regulations. Up in the north its difficult with the climate we have as well to help with some of the composting for example. So its not like we can just grab it and take it out to a farmer’s field, there’s regulations that need to be met. And it was just determined for this that we were unable to do that.” He believes most of the food waste goes into the general garbage stream.

As far as the Waste Mob was concerned Peterson and a couple of assistants headed over to the plaza, put on some gear “just so we don’t get covered in too much poutine of course” and hopped into three large labelled containers. When someone deposited the “wrong waste stream”, the person in that canister jumps out, yells the right canister, that person jumps up and we have a transfer” so the right recyclable is going into the right container.

It was all about educating, in a fun way.


Thats funny because I seen the real thing yesterday. It was a native guy sleeping in a garbage bin at Spruceland. I was cleaning out the wife’s car when I woke him up… kind of surprised me. He said he was looking for bottles when he fell asleep. I just shake my head though… maybe its a weekend thing, but how the hell does this guy know when the pick up schedule is and not get dumped and crushed while sleeping in a bin? Thats a tough life to live for pennies.

You would think that young athletes, eating their parents out of house and home, would eat it all, so there wouldn’t be any waste. But I guess, with all the large sized garbage bins at homes, it could have been a predictor.
Are people that wasteful, that they don’t eat all the food they take on their plates?
We are a household of four and we have a hard time filling our smallest garbage container every two weeks. We put about four or five gallons worth into our composter each week.
Nearly all the food we buy, gets eaten. We very seldom throw out any food at all. Makes me wonder.

Eagleone – did you know the garbage and cardboard bins at shopping malls are paid for by the malls and not the city? It is called illegal dumping when the public uses them for personal use. Did you know they try and lock them but dumpster divers just cut the locks to get into them?

I remember years ago an East Indian fellow was crushed in a similar situation here in PG. A witness said “Could have been worse, he could have been one of us”. This remark stayed with me. I hope one day our provincial government will be more forceful to combat racial discrimination, poverty and mental health issues.

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