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PHSA Recycling Champion: Isaac Tai

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Recycling Champion: Isaac Tai
Health authority: Provincial Health Services Authority
Facility: BC Cancer Agency, Vancouver Centre
Position: Radiation therapist
Date interviewed: July 16, 2015

Isaac, Recycling Champion since August 2014, has been battling napkin, water and coffee-cup contamination in public area recycling bins. So far Isaac has tried:

  • Moving the recycling bin away from the water fountain, with no results
  • Putting up a sign with text saying, “No drinking cups”, which resulted in slightly more cups in the recycling bins
  • Changing the sign to having text and a picture of the cup with a cross through it, which resulted in all the cups in recycling bin!

Q. What has been your biggest challenge yet?

“The contamination. It’s very difficult to get people to stop throwing the drinking cups into the recycling bins. I worked on another floor, and when I came here I noticed that the contamination is much more.”

Q. What do you enjoy the most about being a recycling champion?

“I like to see when things actually get recycled. If things are actually recycled I know there will be less waste accumulated both from reuse and the non-contaminated bins being recycled.”

Q. What initiated your involvement as a recycling champion?

“I’ve always been interested in recycling. I noticed a lot of things that would normally get thrown out could be reused or recycled. Before the recycling bins were brought in, I would call companies on my own to see if they would take our recycled goods if I sorted it myself.”

Q. What are you future goals as a recycling champion?

“I would like to see the contamination stop. If there is substantial contamination, then the recycling bin would act as a garbage bin, which defeats the whole purpose. My ultimate goal would be for people to put the garbage in the garbage bin and the recycling in the recycling bin.”