Nfld. & Labrador

Port au Port man treks 750 km, just to recycle

Chris Soper is more determined than most to keep recyclables out of the landfill.
Chris Soper stores up all types of recyclables in his shed in Port au Port, until he makes the 750-kilometre trip across the island to St. John's. (Submitted by Chris Soper)

The inability to recycle plastics in his hometown of Port au Port hasn't stopped Chris Soper from finding a way to keep his plastic waste out of the landfill.

"It sounds crazy, but I've literally taken 20 to 40 pounds, no exaggeration, of plastic containers, like ice cream and yogurt containers … and I'll truck them across the island to St. John's," Soper told The Corner Brook Morning Show.

After making that approximately 750-kilometre trip, Soper puts his plastics out at the curb of his daughter's house in the city for pickup.

St. John's curbside recycling accepts such waste, a service not offered on the west coast of Newfoundland.

'It broke my heart'

Soper makes regular trips to see his daughter in St. John's, taking plastics along each time, so as not to expend extra emissions on his recycling mission.

But Soper said while he makes an effort to reuse containers and reduce consumption, he didn't have enough space in his car for all his extra plastics on his last trip to the city.

Eventually, he had to throw some of it out. 

"It broke my heart," said Soper.

"It becomes garbage, which is a shame, because the plastic actually can get recycled and reused."

To me, philosophically, putting stuff in the dump is a no-no.- Chris Soper

Soper also composts, recycles paper and drops off any wires or old nails at the scrap metal collection centre in Stephenville.

"To me, philosophically, putting stuff in the dump is a no-no."

Soper has spoken to his local council about recycling plastics and was told it's working on a plan, but cost was a major factor.

"I hope that will happen," said Soper, who said he will continue to make his recycling trek across the island until it becomes a reality.

With files from the Corner Brook Morning Show

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