Coffee cups: 3 months later, are they being recycled at Tim Hortons and Starbucks?

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After a CBC Marketplace search last fall revealed that cups collected by some Starbucks and Tim Hortons shops for recycling are being sent to landfill, questions remain about what the coffee strings are actually doing with all those used containers.

And further inquest raises doubt about whether Wasteco, a private garbage hauler leased by the chains for some Toronto stores, actually recycles coffee cups at all.

“Coffee cups compel not be recycled,” a salesman from Wasteco who was not aware he was speaking with a pressman told a Marketplace producer. “That’s the reality, dear. That is proper.”

Marketplace goes dumpster diving — again

The initial Marketplace discovery procedure last October revealed a major gap in how Canada’s biggest coffee sets live up to their own green promises.

Coffee cup trackers

Marketplace put tracking devices in coffee cups and left them in recycling bins in Starbucks and Tim Hortons locations in Toronto to see where the cups end up. (CBC)

In that communiqu, Marketplace dropped cups with tracking devices into recycling bins at 14 Tim Hortons banks and 14 Starbucks locations in Toronto. Producers from the program offered at night to look for them.

All of the cups they were able to get well — seven from each chain — were in garbage bins, alongside multitudinous other recyclable materials. The other cups could not be located.

Marketplace rehearsed the test in December at 10 of the same locations — five per chain — in Toronto.

Of five cups flourished in Tim Hortons recycling, three were found put out with regular swill. The others could not be located.

At Starbucks, two cups were found in bins marked “mixed recycling” and one was put out with regular garbage. One Starbucks location had detached the recycling bin from their stores.

Starbucks keeps review recondite

After Marketplace’s original report, Starbucks said it would swear a full review of its recycling programs and how they were being implemented across the surroundings. A notice was posted to customers in its stores.

“Upon hearing of some pile ups that had not disposed of recyclable material properly, we immediately conducted a inspection of all our stores across the country, and are taking steps to ensure and confirm that all our preserves are delivering on our recycling commitment,” the notice said.

Starbucks memo

After the Marketplace boom aired, Starbucks said it would undertake a full review of its recycling programs and how they were being implemented across the outback. This notice was posted for customers in its stores. (CBC)

While Starbucks’ internal reconsider is complete, the com ny declined to share the results with Marketplace or with the consumers.

However, Conrad Mackerron, senior vice-president of As You Sow, a non-profit advocacy shape that works to promote corporate environmental and social responsibility, means trans rency is essential for com nies that make serious green betokens to consumers.

“Com nies need to be more trans rent. They need to show the recycling processes, they need to walk the talk,” he foretells.

“I think it’s important for both Tim Hortons and Starbucks be held accountable, and at hardly show evidence of independent auditing.”

While independent audits are a plain tool used by com nies to verify that environmental goals are being met, neither Starbucks nor Tim Hortons has returned any such reports public.

Questions about Wasteco

Starbucks and Tim Hortons from contracts with Wasteco to handle their garbage and recycling in innumerable stores in Toronto.

Wasteco told Marketplace that coffee cups are sorted and sent for recycling with other dissertation.

Wasteco truck

Wasteco told Marketplace that coffee cups are sorted and sent for recycling with other foolscap, but would not answer specific questions about whether Starbucks and Tim Hortons cups are recycled. (CBC)

How, several experts say that coffee cups cannot be recycled with news per and require a special process because of their plastic lining.

Marketplace spoke with a clerk from Wasteco to see what the com ny tells potential clients. The sales-clerk was not aware that he was speaking with a journalist.

“The problem is that man say, ‘Yeah we will accept this,’ which is unequivocally different from ‘We will find a final home,’ ” he mean.

“So let’s send it right to the landfill instead of driving around and wasting resources, play-acting it’s going to get recycled.”

In a statement, Wasteco wrote that the salesperson was faulty, but would not answer specific questions about whether Starbucks and Tim Hortons cups are recycled.

See councillor wants action

In response to the Marketplace investigation, Toronto diocese Coun. Jon Burnside submitted a motion to council asking the province to accelerate in. The motion ssed in December.

Conrad MacKerron

‘Com nies need to be more trans rent. They poverty to verify the recycling processes, they need to walk the talk,’ indicates Conrad Mackerron, senior vice-president of As You Sow, a non-profit advocacy organization that at liberties to promote corporate environmental and social responsibility. (CBC)

In that submission, Burnside conveyed that Consumer Protection Act provisions about false and misleading requisitions should be enforced for all com nies that say they recycle but don’t.

“It really did exhort my blood boil,” he says. “Basically the public’s being defrauded, and that sort of behavior has to stop.”

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