Caroline Tison


What’s in your blue bin?

Did you know that the Brits drink 165 million cups of tea a day?  This represents 370,000 tons of tea bags that end up in the wastelands each year – the most important source of waste ending up in the landfills in the UK.  This is what you call the power of volume.  You look at this tiny tea bag and don’t even think for a second before throwing it in the garbage.  But when millions do this each day, it adds up.

No, we are not in Britain, but we do throw a lot of stuff in the garbage and in the recycling bin.

If you are a Beaconsfield resident, where recycling trucks pick up on Thursdays, you most likely had 2 weeks worth of recycling by the time the New Year came around.  That December 27th snowstorm prevented the recycling trucks to go around that day and I can tell you that we were actually panicking.  Our large-size blue bin was full to the brim.  Where were we going to put all of the recycling stemming from the current week?   We couldn’t fit one more piece of paper in there! And the neighbor’s bins were also overflowing. 

It’s amazing how much space the toy packaging, gift bags, wrapping paper and ribbons took up (not to mention the usual weekly recycling)!  Is it really necessary for that Play-doh cookie-making kit to be in a self contained plastic cookie jar AND in a cardboard box?  Is it really necessary for that roaring dinosaur to be tied up in that box with 6 tie wraps secured by large flat plastic anchors behind the box’s second lining? And to think that just over 25 year ago, all of this was mostly going in the garbage, straight into the landfills.

It’s great that we recycle more and more, and some of us are even composting.  But if producers and companies reduced their packaging at the source, it would be a good start.

Oh, and for that week’s worth of recycling that we accumulated between Christmas and New Year, we had to bring it over to my in-laws’ blue bin all the way down to N.D.G. 

Happy New Year: Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle.


  1. Tea bags as well as coffee grounds which can easily be extracted from k-cups but not tassimo cup (shame on them) does well in compost. Also my plants do well with residue of coffee group from my daily temp compost bin.

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