Julianna van Adrichem Guelph July 15, 2008

Hello Everyone,

I have a question for you about recycling at events. I work for the City of Guelph in Guelph, Ontario and for Canada Day my colleagues and I set up 16 recycling receptacles throughout the park where the celebration was going to be held. The club running the event had never had recycling at the event. They set up about 50 garbage receptacles throughout the busiest area which meant that there was a garbage container every 20 metres in any direction and a garbage and recycling container every 40 metres. The garbage containers were metal (50 Gallons) with the appropriate coloured bags but no labels. The recycling containers were the carts with wheels (90 gallons), all blue, with blue bags, bullet hole on the top and labels that said "cans and bottles only" in big letters and "empty, no lids" in small with a picture of a can and a plastic bottle. We also had signs sticking up from the ground that said "look for the blue recycling containers for your cans and bottles" with the pictures. These signs were placed away from the recycling containers near garbage containers and by picnic tables. The day after the event it was found that a very small amount actually got into the recycling and that tonnes of waste was left on the field. In fact, 50 volunteer kids were busy picking up the waste for 4 hours that morning! In addition, many cans and bottles were found in the garbage even with the recycling container very close by! The event was from 2pm to 10:30 pm. So, my question is, why did people litter so much!? Why didn't they use the receptacles and why did they not put the recyclables in the recycling cart rather than the garbage??? Any thoughts, advise or resources to help myself and the city out with this would be really appreciated!

Julianna van Adrichem

Solid Waste Resources 
Environmental Services
T 519-822-1260 x 2061 
F 519-767-1660 E