City of Penticton launching pilot recycling program to keep old books out of recycling bins

No books in blue bins

The City of Penticton is trying to find better ways for residents to recycle old books, launching a three-month pilot program with the goal of preventing books being placed in residential recycling carts.

"Unfortunately, a recent audit by Recycle BC discovered that books continue to be found in local recycling carts,” says Madison Poultney, sustainability coordinator.

“Previously, books could only be recycled at specialized bins located at Campbell Mountain Landfill, so we realized a need to provide a more convenient location in the city for residents to dispose of books that cannot be donated or resold. We also need to educate the community about the various ways people can discard of their books in a sustainable way.”

Gently used books may be donated to the Penticton Public Library, charities or community organizations, or added to a local "Little Library," with a list available online here.

But damaged or outdated books can now be added to "Planet Earth" recycling bins located in the lobby of the library.

The carts will be there until late April on a trial basis. Books belonging to the library should not be placed in these bins.

The books will be destroyed and the paper recycled. Examples of acceptable books include those that are torn or missing pages, or old textbooks, out-of-date guides, encyclopedias and informational books that are older than five years.

Penticton currently has a goal to lower the community's recycling contamination rate from 13.3 per cent to 10 per cent or lower by November of this year.

It is a goal set by Recycle BC which, if not met, could result in increased costs to recycling program customers, or possibly less-convenient recycling services like having to sort everything into separate bins and bags.

More Penticton News