Family Sees Recycling as a Way of Life

Growing up on the west coast of Canada, Charity Gosling has always had a love of nature and recognizes the need to care for the environment.

So as she and her husband Jason raise their daughters Thorin, 6, and Arianna, 4, they are showing them the importance of using the Township of Langley’s recycling collection services, which were recently upgraded to include a more efficient program for glass. As a result, recycling and properly disposing of waste items is not a chore for the family - it is simply how they see the world.

“The kids love it; it’s not hard for them,” Charity said. “We just teach them, ‘This is what you do.’ They know trees give us air to breathe and they know to take care of the trees. They get it and are on board with saving our planet.”

Having always been passionate about recycling and upcycling, Charity has learned a few tips and tricks over the years to help make recycling part of the household routine. Her most important piece of advice for others seeking to do the same?

“Start with one thing,” Charity suggested. “Introduce one change at a time, something small, because big changes all at once can be overwhelming. I started by thinking, ‘What is one thing I could take out of my garbage?’ When you get used to that change, make another little change. If you try something and it doesn’t work for your family, try something else.”

Charity keeps recycling receptacles throughout the house, including in the bathroom, to collect all non-organic recycling items, from toilet paper rolls to food and beverage containers. She then sorts through everything collected in the garage and places them in the proper collection stream with help from her daughters. Anything that isn’t collected curbside by the Township, such as Styrofoam and soft plastics like grocery bags, is brought to a nearby recycling depot by the family.

Last summer, the Township of Langley rolled out a new recycling program that introduced a grey bin for collecting glass and saw all paper products, including newsprint, combined into yellow recycling bags, eliminating the need for separate blue bags.

For the Goslings, it is not a hard system to grasp.

“Glass is an easily identifiable material,” Charity said. “The only hiccup was taking off the lid and putting it the blue box. As for putting the newspaper in with the other paper, that made sense.”

The Goslings moved to the Willoughby community from Vancouver Island a few years ago, and Charity believes the key to recycling effectively is to be educated.

Recycling programs differ from area to area, and are sometimes adjusted to reflect changes in how materials are managed and collected. Residents need to familiarize themselves with which items go where, and what must be done to them prior to recycling - such as rinsing glass jars and bottles and placing their lids in the blue box before putting glass in the grey bin.

“It is so important not to contaminate recyclables,” Charity said. “If items are too contaminated, it can be worse than not recycling at all. People need to know that it is fine for labels to stay on, and while items need not be cleaned, they must be thoroughly rinsed to remove the remaining product inside.”

Keeping a list of acceptable materials handy for quick reference, such as on the fridge, is also helpful, Charity added: “It’s a really important tool, especially when you are first learning the recycling system as a new resident to the area, or when changes to the system are made.”

She also encourages residents to be proactive and make use of local resources.

Lists of acceptable recycling items, information on collection services, a “What Goes Where” tool, a Waste Sorting Game, and collection day alerts are available on the Township of Langley’s website at tol.ca/recycle.

“I want to make a better future for my children, and that means reducing my pollution,” Charity said, noting that recycling is a simple and effective way to achieve that goal.

For more information on the Township of Langley’s recycling program, call 604-532-7300.


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