The Recyling Blues

Edmontonians will be hearing the blues the next time they open big blue recycling bins outside their apartment buildings or condos.

EDMONTON — Edmontonians will be hearing the blues the next time they open big blue recycling bins outside their apartment buildings or condos.

When the lids on the bins are opened, sensors trigger sound devices to play one of two 30-second blues tunes about the importance of recycling.

Connie Boyce, the city’s director of community relations, said the promotion was devised after the number of building dwellers who recycle recently dropped to 80 per cent from 90 per cent.

Also, there are many items put in the bins that shouldn’t be, including garden hoses, wires and Christmas lights.

Paints, motor oils, butcher knives, needles and even guns have been found in blue bins, she said, posing a danger to the workers who must sort through the contents of the bins.

Some of the items get wrapped around machinery at the sorting facility, which can cause the whole plant to be temporarily shut down, Boyce said.

“In the long run, it’s well worth it,” said Coun. Jane Batty, defending the $160,000 promotion she helped launch Tuesday. “It’s a great message you won’t forget,” Batty said.

Bins are expected to be singing the blues by the end of the week.

The tab includes the cost of the sensors for 400 bins, an advertising campaign and outreach program including mall displays.

The tunes are performed by local musician Hank Leonhardt.

Scott Hennig of the Canadian Taxpayers Federation questioned whether the singing would eventually annoy residents to the point where some will stop using the bins.

“I don’t know if it’s going to result in people just not wanting to recycle things because they don’t want to hear the song over and over,” he said.

The campaign runs until the end of June.

(Edmonton Sun)