Today is our Coffee Cup Revolution event, and we’re talking about plastics and packaging. Bev and Kelly bin regularly, and have been with Binners’ Project since its inception.
They sat down with us to talk about what they like to find, and their favourite spots to look out for coffee cups.
You bin mostly at night, why does that work better for you?
Bev: It’s quieter, and there’s less people around so it makes it easier.
Kelly: We have flashlights so it makes things easier. The only thing we see sometimes are skunks, but we know to stay away from each other.
When do you usually go, and for how long?
Kelly: We have a route in Kits that we do, so we always go when we know it’s going to be garbage day. That way the bins are always out in the alleys. It takes us about 7 or 8 hours in total, with a little break in the middle.
What’s the most challenging about picking out bottles and cans from the bins?
Bev: It can get pretty messy, especially if the recycling isn’t sorted or anything. Sometimes I take some time and sort out the paper from the plastic and stuff if it’s really messy.
Kelly: It makes it easier when people put the cans outside of the bin in a bag or box for us. Out it Kits we see a few of the Binners Hooks around, and people hang bottles from there, which is helpful. It’s nice to know they’re expecting us to come, and it just makes it easier, and it’s quieter.
You both have been to many Coffee Cup Revolution events. How do you bin for coffee cups? Is it different than bottles and cans?
Kelly: We have been collecting some when we’re out on our regular runs at night, whenever we see them.
Bev: The best time of day for cups is lunch time, and we have this one block in Yaletown we like to go to. We’re usually picking them out of garbage cans, but they’re hard to get into now because they’re the bins that open from the front. It makes them difficult to reach into.
What are some things you would challenge others to do to help make sure their bottles & cans, and other packaging like coffee cups are getting recycled?
Kelly: It’s hard for us to get into the bins if things are really messy. Sometimes compost is mixed in with all the containers, and it’s hard to get things out. I think it’s what I said earlier - it’s helpful when people use a bag and put the can on the hook. It makes us feel like people are looking out for us.
Bev: We are all accountable to make sure things are going in the right place. From the person who throws it in the bin, to the janitors who are cleaning things up, to us binners who are putting things in the right place and recycling the cans. We all need to do our best to make sure things are being recycled.
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