Shuswap residents keep recycling hazard-free

58-rounds of live ammo found mixed with residential recyclables, reports Recycle BC

  • Aug. 8, 2019 6:00 a.m.

Residents in the Columbia Shuswap Regional District are doing a good job of keeping hazardous materials separate from recyclables, but the same can’t be said elsewhere in the province.

B.C.’s major recycling collectors and processors have seen seven fires this year, with several of them having endangered lives and forced the temporary closure of facilities says Recycle BC, the organization responsible for residential packaging and paper product recycling in the province.

David Lefebvre, Recycle BC director of public affairs, says most incidents involving fires are caused by residents including hazardous materials, such as lithium-ion batteries and propane or butane canisters, with their recycling.

“Hazardous materials present a very real danger for workers in B.C.’s recycling industry…,” said Lefebvre.

“Earlier this month, a resident put 58 rounds of live ammunition into their recycling. We need people to think before they put something that is potentially explosive and deadly into a recycling bin.”

Read more: Discarded bear spray closes Skimikin dump

Read more: CSRD landfill expansion worries neighbours

Recycle BC audits of materials in 2019 found two-thirds of container loads had hazardous materials present, a 47 per cent increase over the last five years. Hazardous materials include:

• Butane and propane canisters;

• Batteries (especially lithium-ion


• Compressed gases;

• Ammunition;

• Knives;

• Bear spray.

In 2018, a discarded can of bear spray wound up temporarily closing the CSRD’s Skimikin transfer station. For 2019, however, Ben Van Nostrand, CSRD team leader for environmental health, said there’s nothing specifically mentioned in Recycle BC’s audit of Bill’s Bottle Depot, “and that’s a good thing.”

“I think the story can be just a reminder that those disposable materials like butane, propane cylinders or batteries, cell phones, lighter fluids, lighters, those types of things can cause big problems at the processing facility,” said Van Nostrand. “The more we can keep them out – and we have programs to keep them out – that’s beneficial to the overall sort of recycling picture.

Read more: UPDATE: Fire at Sicamous landfill fully extinguished

Read more: Process limits greenhouse gas escape at Salmon Arm Landfill

“In 2019 we don’t see those types of materials in our recycling.”

For those who are unsure which materials are acceptable for recycling and which are not, Van Nostrand advises looking at the Recycle BC website.

“It is just a really good resource for what program material is accepted… and also what happens to your recycling, where it goes…,” said Van Nostrand. “There’s a lot of negativity around recycling throughout North America it seems, just in terms of stuff going to China or not going to China, and the Recycle BC program is sort of a leader in processing that stuff local. It’s a different story and I think and important one to tell.”


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

In photos: Residents learn to paint the scenes of Salmon Arm

The free workshop was held at Piccadilly Mall

Year-round training envisioned for Salmon Arm’s Rapattack base

Mayor hopes council’s support of Rapattack will pay off in longevity for base

Letter: Better fix needed than what’s proposed for Balmoral Road/Highway 1 intersection

Province already behind on widening of Trans-Canada Highway

Salmon Arm approved for worker based in Vernon to support homeless

While application to Ministry of Social Development gets nod, one to BC Housing denied

Column: Potentially valuable WorkSafeBC review let down by bias

Notes from the Legislature by Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

In photos: Salmon Arm’s downtown farmers market

Out of the many sights and sounds from Salmon Arm’s downtown farmers… Continue reading

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Renter of torched Okanagan home a British Army veteran, new Canadian

Owen Wilson was just beginning to settle into life in Canada when the blaze occurred

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Racist confrontation in Richmond parking lot caught on camera

Woman can be heard yelling racial slurs, swear words at woman in apparent parking dispute

Most Read