Recycling — the third ‘R’ — has become one of the most widely practised environmental activities in Canadian households. For good reason. It saves resources and helps keep waste out of the landfill. It is something anyone can do. Recycling is a multi-stage process that entails collecting, transporting, processing, marketing, remanufacturing, and ultimately using a material that would otherwise have been sent to landfill.

Of course, recycling is a cycle. So it is important not only to recycle everything we can, but also to purchase products with recycled content. This is what creates the market for recycled material and closes the recycling loop.

Recycling Q&A

Recycling Points to Ponder

  • Aluminum is probably the most valuable blue box material. Producing a can from recycled aluminum takes only 5 per cent of the energy required to make a new can from bauxite ore.
  • A stack of newspapers about one metre high equals one tree.
  • The triangular symbol for recycling is called a Mobius loop. It was developed by a German mathematician, August Ferdinand Mobius in 1858. To make one, take a strip of paper, give it a half twist and join the ends together. If you take a pencil and make a line along the whole length of the loop without lifting the pencil, the mark will appear on both sides even though you did not turn the paper over. Go figure!

Recycling bags

Remember that in Winnipeg, the city recycling program does not take plastic bags. So please be sure not to leave your recyclables in a plastic bag. Use your blue box. A variety of re-usable bags are now available – we recommend ones that are washable and compact so you always have one with you.