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Recycling changes take effect

Paper cups for hot and cold beverages can now be recycled, but plastic bags and plastic film packaging can’t.

These are just two of the guidelines that came into effect Monday, May 19 with the move to the Multi- Material BC recycling program.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the city’s development and planning services committee, Rob Niewenhuizen, director of engineering and public works, referred council to the brochure recently distributed to residents listing what can and can’t be recycled.

“One of the important things to note, we are still a blue bag program, a clear blue bag program,” he said. “Many other communities have gone with carts and bins.”

New recyclable items listed include: ‘gable top’ milk cartons, aseptic or ‘tetra pak’ boxes and cartons (without straws), clean plastic garden plant pots and seedling trays, and empty aerosol cans that contained food, air fresheners or shaving cream.

The brochure notes that depots will continue to collect glass and, beginning Jan. 1, 2015, residents will be able to also take their plastic bags and plastic film as well as plastic foam or Styrofoam. In the meantime, residents are asked to either stockpile, re-use or stop using these items. Residents may call city hall at 250-803-4000 if they have questions.

Coun. Chad Eliason said he’s pleased, as the net number of items recycled has increased. He said education will now be key. “Fines for getting the wrong content are big for the city, that’s the fear.”

Coun. Debbie Cannon agreed, saying council should use an “out-of-the-box” way to educate residents, perhaps with some kind of game or challenge.

Under the agreement, each household receives $34 for participating, a figure that will be deducted from their annual garbage and recycling bill. In addition, the city receives $3.25 per household for education regarding the program.

The new program stemmed from a change in 2011 to the provincial recycling regulation to require businesses that supply packaging and printed paper to residents to start taking responsibility for them once they’re discarded.

Eliason said he’d also like to see green waste go into a composting program, and remaining recyclable materials collected so there will not be the need for a new landfill in his lifetime.

 

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