North American’s produce over half the world’s garbage. That’s a lot that could have been recycled. Albertan’s buy and use over 75 million milk jugs a year. If we recycle, our lives could be a lot cleaner. If we just keep throwing milk containers away, eventually the world will be a giant landfill. The world is running out of landfill space. Nobody wants to live near a landfill.
Can you guess how many milk cartons we use at Rimbey Elementary per day? The answer is about 145. That adds up to approximately 29,000 per year! If we put this in the landfill, it would fill up very quickly, so we recycle them every week. Each class has a bin for empty containers that have been ‘swished and squished’. This means we have to rinse them out so they don’t stink, and then crush them, so they take up less space. Grade 4 students collect the empty containers every Friday, and Mrs. Palm takes them to the recycling depot.
Rimbey and area residents can help prevent our landfill from filling up by recycling their milk containers as well. Just make sure you ‘swish and squish’. Once you squish your milk containers, you can take them to the Rimbey Recycling Depot where they have two bins outside the building. One is for milk cartons, and one is for plastic milk jugs. As of about June 1 this year, you will be able to return all milk containers to the new Rimbey beverage container recycling centre for a refund.
When you recycle your plastic milk jugs they are baled and sent to a place where they are shredded and washed. Then they are melted down into tiny pellets which are sold to places that turn them into non-food products and containers such as flower pots, plastic pipes and lumber.
When you recycle cardboard milk cartons, they are sent away, heated up, shaken up and mixed in a big blender that turns the paper back into pulp where it can be made into new paper products such as the inner layer of corrugated cardboard, household tissue products and writing paper. The plastic coating is skimmed off the top and recycled into new plastic products.
For more information on recycling milk containers in Alberta you can go to www.milkcontainerrecycling.com/AB, where we have gotten our informational facts for this article. We can all make a difference by recycling. Every milk container counts! Thanks for making a better world!
Regular readers will recall an introduction to the Rimbey Elementary School’s Green Team that appeared in these pages last fall. As part of their projects this year, the Green Team will periodically be submitting a column regarding their efforts and tips and suggestions to the public on how to keep Rimbey, Alberta, Canada and the rest of the world as environmentally friendly as possible.