As much as one-third of the material in blue bins is improperly disposed of, according to the city’s website, with black plastic among the primary offenders. It urges residents to dispose of it in the regular garbage.
The Sweet Potato’s new recycling program is being carried out in partnership with TerraCycle, which will send the plastic to its facility in Fergus, Ont. TerraCycle, which bills itself as a global leader in collecting and repurposing “hard-to-recycle” waste, said it had recycled billions of pieces of waste since its 2001 formation.
Sustainability and the environment are among The Sweet Potato’s core values, said Dorfman. “It’s pretty central to what we do,” he said. “Environmental concerns are one of the most significant priorities for us whenever we’re making any type of decision.”
The store is promoting its recycling program through a combination of in-store signage and social media posts, said Dorfman. Staff have also been trained to answer customer questions about the program.
The Sweet Potato stressed this wasn’t intended to be a permanent solution, noting it didn't believe private solutions were the appropriate fix for public programs such as the state of public recycling infrastructure.
“We hope you will continue to advocate for a more sustainable civic infrastructure,” states the blog post. “In the meantime, however, we’re very glad that we won’t all have black plastic cluttering up the place or going needlessly to landfill.”
The Sweet Potato’s program comes amid growing awareness of the environmental impact of plastic waste and increased consumer pressure on businesses of all types to eliminate single-use plastics.