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How will Lethbridge’s Curbside Recycling program fair in Canada’s changing industry?

May 1, 2019

The recycling industry is quickly changing in Canada as outside markets become less accepting of low-quality products, but will that affect the local curbside recycling program set to roll out city-wide in Lethbridge later this month?

It has been a long wait for Lethbridge residents to receive their blue bins as the curbside recycling program finally rolls out this month.

But with trouble brewing in the industry, has the city’s commitment to recycling come too late?

“This material that used to be valuable, now we have to pay to have someone take it away,” said Keith Brooks, program director with Environmental Defence, an environmental advocacy group.

For many years, Canada has relied heavily on shipping recyclables to foreign markets for sorting. But last year, China and several other countries put a stop to that, deciding to no longer accept certain types of paper, plastic and low quality materials.

“This is not a temporary thing, and if you don’t adapt and modify your facilities and maybe refocus the materials that you actually collect that can be recycled, you’re going to be in trouble,” said Francis Veilleux, president of the Bluewater Recycling Association.

For many years, Canada has relied heavily on shipping recyclables to foreign markets for sorting. But last year, China and several other countries put a stop to that, deciding to no longer accept certain types of paper, plastic and low quality materials.

“This is not a temporary thing, and if you don’t adapt and modify your facilities and maybe refocus the materials that you actually collect that can be recycled, you’re going to be in trouble,” said Francis Veilleux, president of the Bluewater Recycling Association.

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