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Where to recycle what

Recycling. It’s something that requires intentional effort. Marlene Barry, Chair of the Sooke Region Volunteer Centre, calls this voluntary action.

“Choosing to recycle is an ‘informal’ voluntary action, as opposed to the more ’formal’ volunteering done when joining a group or cause,” Barry notes. “Formal and informal voluntary actions is where the Sooke Region Volunteer Centre’s vision of ‘a community where everyone volunteers’ comes from.”

Barry prefers to look at recycling versus “trashing” through the eyes of a caring, individual rather than a didactic, authoritarian one. “Trashing in the wild is harmful for the animals and the environment, as well as potentially creating harmful situations for people. Throwing everything in the landfill also has its environmental and health impacts, not to mention the increased tax implications of dealing with massive amounts of garbage.  Recycling as much as possible reduces the costs and environment impacts of our consumer lifestyle.”

She does acknowledge the flaws in the system, noting that “there is no perfect system, opponents will say that not everything that gets sent off for recycling ends up there, and there are environmental costs to the recycling process as well.” The first, and probably most effective thing one can do is to reduce their own consumption of goods.

“Reducing is the first and most important of the 3R’s,” observes Barry. “Each step that each individual takes towards that goal is a conscientious and voluntary step in the right direction.”

To help residents of Sooke, the Sooke Region Resources (sookeregionresources.com) has a webpage called The 3 R’s, providing a wealth of information. Following is a partial list of where you might recycle what, locally. Some are free; some are for a fee.

Sooke Home Hardware

Batteries, cell phones, fluorescent light bulbs, and smoke detectors.

Sooke Bottle Depot

Beverage containers including milk, cans and bottles including alcohol.

Sooke Disposal & Recycling

Free: metal (appliances, auto parts, lawn mowers, etc.), automotive/motorcycle/marine batteries, and paint.

Small-fee: paper, cardboard, glass, cans, and plastics.

Full-fee: garbage, wood, dry wall, shingles, demo materials, and refrigerators.

Sooke Auto Recycling

Motor oil and antifreeze, scrap metal, used appliances.

Automotive service stations

Most automotive locations take mechanical fluids (motor oil, antifreeze). Some may take batteries, scrap metal and tires. Contact your favourite shop for more information.

Grocery stores

Plastic bags and bottles

Drug stores

Expired prescriptions and medications, creams and lotions, old cell phones, eye glasses and hearing aids.

Library

Gently used books, arts and crafts supplies

Second hand stores

Gently used clothing, toys, household goods, furniture, appliances, books, and more. The Salvation Army is also a Return-It location for electronics.

Barry offers a few cost-effective tips when it comes to recycling. “The first place to make a savings would be in reducing your garbage costs,” she advises. “Recycle more, dispose of less and save money.  Saving up and bringing items in to places like PMD will save both time and gas.  Also as the fees are generally by the bag for plastics, it would likely be cheaper to bring one larger bag than two or three smaller bags. Being familiar with your options helps save money as well.  Salvation Army takes certain electronics for free, while PMD charges a small fee per pound. Creating a system for yourself will make being environmentally conscientious easier and more efficient.”

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