(Photo by Brian Yurasits on Unsplash)

Homegrown plastics recycling is possible in Rossland

Zero Waste Co-op initiative is being supported by the Rossland Sustainability Commission

Has anyone not noticed all the news about what happens to our plastic even if we get it to the recycling bins? According to a recent study in National Geographic, 91 per cent of our plastics are not recycled and are damaging our ecosystems.

Even if we do the right thing and put it into recycling, it is often not recycled according research by CBC Marketplace.

Not only that but plastics recycling involves trucks/ships moving the material locally and beyond which has a carbon footprint. So why not recycle our plastic right here in Rossland? Not feasible you say. Well just check out the three-minute introductory video at the homepage for preciousplastic.com.

They have instructions on building the machines (CAD files and blueprints included) and tons of information in their forums to help in modifying the machines and useful product ideas. A local group, the Zero Waste Co-op, has taken on the challenge.

We have already located a building which is a sea can that Rossland Search and Rescue is planning to get rid of once they move into their new digs. We are having a fundraiser presentation and dance on Feb. 22 at the Miners’ Hall to support the initiative so mark it on the calendar.

There is a growing group of volunteers (seven so far) who are committed to building the machines, promoting the project, fundraising, product research and educational aspects.

The benefits of this project to the community are many including

1) Taking control of our own plastic waste;

2) Using the facility as a focus on education about how plastic waste harms the environment and what we can do to help;

3) Creating a workspace that can be used in conjunction with the MIDAS Fab Lab by local entrepreneurs to develop prototypes of new products or art from recycled plastic and

4) Creating a focal point for the community to explore other subjects such as alternate energy, green roof, recycling of other waste (e.g., glass).

The Zero Waste Co-op members are excited about the project and hope you are too. The initiative is being supported by the Rossland Sustainability Commission.

If you want to help or even just want to give us your clean plastics once the facility is ready (September or earlier) let us know and come out and support us on Feb. 22 at the Miners’ Hall. Contact me at s.craig.delong@gmail.com or find us at rosslandsustainability.com and click on the Zero Waste tab for more information or to volunteer.

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