Waiting for glass to turn into sand

“You know glass turns back into sand, right?” This was a comment we received on Twitter less than an hour after celebrating the success of our fifth annual Clean Up the Shores event with the Vic PD and multiple other partners from around our city’s harbour.

A simple online search provides countless results that describe in detail the time it takes for glass to become sand; it’s typically a few thousand years. That doesn’t mean it is right for anyone to throw a glass bottle, or any other waste, in the harbour.  

In less than two hours, more than 50 volunteers collected just over 1,000 pounds of trash from around our harbour; 400 pounds of that was glass. During the event, one of our team members called out, “ok, time to stop with the whole ‘message in the bottle’ idea.” Our apologies to Sting and The Police, but we agree (and we think they would, too).

We take sustainability and environmental initiatives seriously.

Our Inner Harbour and Fisherman’s Wharf marinas offer composting adjacent to recycling and waste collection, water treatment, and pump outs. The Ogden Point Cruise Terminal works with our cruise line partners to measure air and water quality, and terminal operations offer recycling for everything from oily water to batteries. Our commercial partners work with us to ensure that every effort is made to reduce consumer waste and packaging, and products such as used cooking oil are picked up and recycled or repurposed.

As a friendly reminder, you can take glass bottles to a Return-It Depot for cash or put them in any recycling bin (separated, of course), where that bottle will have a new life, time and again.

For the other 600+ pounds of trash collected, from tires to coffee cups, there are proper places for those to be disposed of as well (hint: none of them are the harbour itself). 

Finally, this annual event would not have been possible without the dedication of the Vic PD, our team at the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority, and other business partners. Our sincere thanks to them for the ongoing efforts.