Redefining the Dish Pit 1

Section 1: Overview

M.G. McIntosh

OPINION

01/25/2021

CONCEPT REPORT (EXT.)

PROBLEM

For quite a few years now, governments around the world have been grappling with the growing amount of plastics being diverted from the recycling stream. This came to a head, at least in Canada, when it was reported that the Philippine government was threatening to send back loads of unprocessed plastics. It turns out , not everything we throw in the recycling bin actually gets recycled. In this report, I want to tackle the issue of ‘contamination’ in the recycling stream. So how do we ensure that there is minimal contamination in our plastics and other recyclables?

PICTURE THIS

Imagine, if you will, that we can set up a facility specifically to minimize ‘contamination’. What might that look like? Well, in part, that would look like a dishpit. The very same kind you see in restaurants everywhere. This is because cleaning/rinsing out containers is one part of the process to reduce contamination. It ensures that only the plastic, tin, aluminum or glass is sent to the recycling plant. Why reinvent the wheel? Why not repurpose idle dish pits into the cleaning/rinsing facilities for recyclable plastics/tins and glass jars? They’re made for cleaning.

GOAL

I’d like to walk you through the necessary steps to repurpose an everyday restaurant dish pit into a ‘super dish pit’ capable of cleaning up recyclables alongside dishes. I hope to cover a few things on this journey:

  1. Overview (Current Document)
  2. The Ziploc Standard
  3. Ecolab’s Project
  4. Setting up the Restaurant

BENEFITS

  1. Saves money and time by repurposing existing infrastructure to other uses
  2. Creates jobs
  3. Reduces waste in landfills
  4. Increases efficiency of recycling stream
  5. Helps stabilize year-round income for restaurants in the tourism industry

PREVIEW

In the upcoming section, titled ‘The Ziploc Standard’, I will talk about changes to products and what manufacturers can do to play their part. I hope to encourage changes that will streamline the whole system, cutting down on time and money while increasing the efficiency of recycling our waste.

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