Meaford's recently implemented plastic film recycling program has proved to be a valuable service for the United Way of Grey Bruce. Francesca Dobbyn, Executive Director of the United Way Grey Bruce, accompanied by Meaford council candidate Steve Nickels, arrived at Meaford's transfer station with a vehicle jam-packed with plastic film from the annual back to school backpack program run by the organization.
Dobbyn told The Independent that the delivery included more than 2,000 plastic film bags that cover each of the 2,200 backpacks the United Way provides to school children each year. Many of those backpacks are provided to Meaford children who require some assistance preparing for the school year.
“We've heard from teachers that it takes a lot of the poverty-based bullying out of the classroom. So everybody starts the school year with all the tools they need. They can share their stuff with other kids in the class, which is something that a lot of low income kids don't get to do very often – share,” explained Dobbyn.
The success of the backpack program has had one negative side effect - waste. Dobbyn said that in the past, all of those thousands of plastic bags that the backpacks arrive in from the manufacturer were sent with regular trash to the landfill.
“Because we're buying wholesale now, we get this plastic, whereas we didn't when we were buying lower volumes from stores. We just had to throw it away. When I saw that Meaford could recycle this, I thought it was fantastic because we have all of this plastic to get rid of, and to be able to recycle it makes me feel so much better about this program,” said Dobbyn.
Meaford council candidate Steve Nickels accompanied Dobbyn to assist with transporting the plastic film, and he brought along a bag of his own that had been collected at home over a two-week period. Nickels said that he was surprised at how quickly the plastic film accumulated from everyday living.
“I think anything we can do to keep this out of the landfills is a huge benefit. Of course I would like to see the packaging eliminated in the first place, so we don't have this waste to get rid of,” offered Nickels.
The plastic film recycling program was fully implemented this summer after a six month pilot project proved successful.
A list of acceptable materials for the Plastic Film Recycling Program is identified below:
Shopping bags (remove any draw strings!)
Shrink wrap/packaging film
Zip-loc style bags (cut zipper portion off)
Plastic drop sheets (nothing paint-contaminated)
Dry cleaning clothes protector bags
Soap and detergent bulk refill bags (cut off plastic spouts)
Salt, fertilizer and topsoil/triple mix bags (must be clean)
Green garbage bags
Film covering food products (peel off or cut off any paper labels)
Film covering paper towels, toilet paper, ice cube bags, etc.
Vapour-barrier (heavy) film
Cling wrap (clean)
For more information on this program, please contact the Municipality of Meaford Operations Department at 519-538-1060 ext. 1315