recycling_westmountmag

The Hammer comes down:
Recycling do’s and don’ts

Irony in recycling (and immigration by analogy)

By Linda Hammerschmid

We have all heard and read over the last years how China continually leads the global community as its most prolific polluter.

Just based on measuring fossil fuel CO2 emissions, and as of 2015, China emits twice as much as the U.S. and almost three times as much as the European Union collective.

So imagine my surprise to learn that, due to China’s decision to tighten restrictions on the number of “contaminants” it would accept in recycled products it purchases from other countries, prices for the sale of recyclables plummeted.

… part of the fault is ours because people, either by mistake or insouciance, fill up blue boxes with banned materials.

Apparently, however, part of the fault is ours because people, either by mistake or insouciance, fill up blue boxes with banned materials. Greasy paper products (think pizza boxes), light bulbs, waxy products (those inside sleeves from cereal boxes), small individual yogurt containers (I gather large ones are okay?), clothes (that I’ve never done although I read once that lint is compost compatible and lint after all emanates from clothes but I digress), and the list goes on.

In Toronto – which BTW is a worse offender somehow than we Montréalais – recycling is separated at the home level between various types of materials and by moisture (wet or dry).

Experts in the field propose that bins differentiate between glass, metal and plastic items to ease sorting, thereby reducing costs at the plant, as was done originally but which was stopped in order to foster the desire of residents to recycle (too much trouble to do all that sorting I suppose).

‘Experts in the field propose that bins differentiate between glass, metal and plastic items to ease sorting… as was done originally…’

For instance, plastic bags are recyclable but should be bundled together in another bag, which is tied so as to make sorting at the end of the line easier and faster. After all time is money.

My suggestion, given all the recent hullabaloo about immigration phobias, and given that I am sure the majority of “pur laine” folk don’t aspire to sorting recyclable materials, maybe more thought should be placed on why it is advisable to allow immigrants into La Belle Province. And it seems to me that passing French tests, for this job anyway, shouldn’t have to be very demanding.

For more information on what to recycle and what not to put in blue bins, go to the RECYC-QUÉBEC website. They have even launched an App (Ça va où?) to help people reduce their mistakes.

recyc-quebec.gouv.qc.ca
recrutement@recyc-quebec.gouv.qc.ca
Ça va où? / Where does it go?

Bouton S'inscrire à l'infolettre – WestmountMag.ca

Feature image: Scott Macpherson via StockPholio.com

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of its author and do not reflect the opinions of WestmountMag.ca, its publishers or editors.

Read also: The Hammer comes down: Air travel incidents


linda hammerschmid

Me Linda Hammerschmid is an attorney and has been practicing Family Law since 1982. She is the Senior Partner at Hammerschmid & Associates at 1 Westmount Square, Suite 1290. She is a founding and current member, and past Secretary (28 years) of The Family Law Association of Quebec. She is a frequent guest on CBC TV/Radio, CTV and CJAD, providing commentary on Family Law. You can also hear her regularly on the CJAD show ‘Passion’ with Dr. Laurie Betito, the last Thursday of each month. She and her dog Mac are members of CPAT (Caring Paws Animal Therapy), giving joy to the less fortunate. Me Hammerschmid can be reached at (514) 846-1013 or by e-mail at hammerschmid@vif.com. All inquiries will be treated confidentially.


Stuart Weitzman Canada



There are 5 comments

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  1. Jack Locke

    Rather disappointing article. Rather than explain the Do’s and Don’t of recycling, Hammerschmid criticizes China, advocates immigrants be employed to sort our junk, and the tone is clearly xenophobic. Her comments about the “the majority of “pur laine” folk don’t aspire to sorting recyclable materials” is an incredible assertion.

    This article could use a little bit of recycling itself.

    • Didi Miesen

      I have to agree 100% with you. As an immigrant and a longstanding victim of the quebecois de souche – ethnic cleansing language, loi’s these past 40 horrific years, this article is very offensive to say the least. Shame on you LInda.

      • Linda Hammerschmid

        I am disappointed in You, Didi, who have read numerous other columns of mine.
        Neither you nor Jack apparently gleamed the message behind what I wrote.
        Maybe next time.
        Hope springs eternal!

    • Linda

      Hello Jack
      The article wasn’t entered on Recycling which is why it wasn’t a How To manual.
      Sadly, you mistook the angle on which this article was written.
      Hopefully you will enjoy others if not this one.
      And to be clear, I am not xenophobic or any other negative adjective you, who have not, I believe, met me wish to ascribe.
      Have a great weekend.

    • Linda

      Hello Jack,
      Unfortunately you did not gleam the actual point of my article.
      And I am neither xenophobic or any other adjective you wish to ascribe to me, particularly as you have never met me.
      But it is always good to evoke debate, even if sometimes it is mean spirited as yours and Didi’s seem to be.


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