NewsHighlands East trying to improve blue box efficiency SHARE ON: Doug Crosse, contributor, Sunday, Jun. 23rd, 2019 Highlands East would like to see its recycling program become more efficient. (Photo by Digital Buggu from Pexels)Highlands East has been running a Blue Box recycling program for many years.But the municipality would like to let people know it is getting more and more expensive to administer this program each year.It cost Highlands East $80,000 to haul and process 430 tonnes of recycled materials that is generated by residents and businesses. Each municipality has to develop its own waste management and recycling program that is also in compliance with the Environmental Protection Act.With recent media reports suggesting recycling markets are becoming less and less profitable, some materials may no longer be accepted as part of the recycling program in the near future.The township has put out a list of things residents can do to help ensure the success of the recycling program.Recycling TipsTake some time to review what is recyclable in Highlands East. It might not be the same in other municipalities. There is a downloadable recycling guide on the municipal website that will help you understand what is, and isn’t, recyclable. Make sure you only place acceptable items in your recycling. Otherwise, the entire contents can become contaminated and will be rejected by the recycling processor. Posting the Recycling Guide where you store your recyclable materials may help remind you about what should go into each container.Rinse bottles, jars and other containers. If they are not clean they may contaminate other material that is deposited into the blue box for recycling.Try to buy items with minimal packaging.Try to use reusable containers/bags when shopping.Try to choose retailers that reduce packaging.Use refillable containers for drinks. Plastic bottles and paper cups are a large portion of recycling materials and are getting more difficult to process and sell in the recycling market today.Share magazines and newspapers with friends.Consider taking a plastic bag when you go for a walk to pick up garbage and recyclables.Choose to compost to lessen the impact on the landfill. The added bonus is the composted material goes back in your garden. There will soon be a new Waste Info App that can be used on smartphones that will address questions and concerns along with schedules of waste collection.