City Cans Plastic Bags

Canada's North Shore Recycling Program (NSRP) is helping Vancouver residents save money and landfill space by switching from clear plastic bags to reusable containers and double-ply kraft bags for yard trimmings collection.

Since 1998, residents of three communities in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, typically have used clear plastic bags to throw out yard trimmings. But in December 2001, as a result of an increase in yard trimmings volume and subsequent higher collection costs, the NSRP surveyed residents and found that 81 percent supported switching to reusable collection containers.

According to NSRP, using containers or double-ply, compostable kraft yard bags that are stronger than plastic bags consequently help save time, money and landfill space.

"The improvements will allow the average homeowner, who sets out three or fewer containers of yard waste per week, to save money," says Allen Lynch, NSRP manager. Other cost-reduction measures, such as bi-weekly collection and reducing its bag-per-curb limit, were researched but did not provide significant cost savings, he says.