Garbage in multi-unit recycling bins costing Cosmo Industries

Watch above: A high percentage of garbage is being dumped into recycling bins at Saskatoon condominiums and apartment buildings. The city’s director of environmental initiatives Brenda Wallace talks about how they are dealing with the issue.

SASKATOON – Twenty per cent of waste thrown into recycling bins at condos and apartments in Saskatoon is actually garbage. Meanwhile, single-family homes only make this mistake 3.5 per cent of the time.

The error has become a big problem for Cosmopolitan Industries which is responsible for the big recycling containers outside multi-unit dwellings.

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A report presented Tuesday to the city’s environmental committee shows the contamination is costing the company big bucks.

Cosmo receives an annual credit of $8,000 to use the landfill.

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From Jan. 1 to May 31, approximately 28 tonnes of garbage was incorrectly placed in recycling bins. The entire credit was spent by February, meaning Cosmo now has to pay out-of-pocket, leaving less money for collecting and sorting recyclables.

The multi-unit residential recycling program is now available to over 33,000 households and approximately 390 tonnes of recyclable materials has been collected so far this year.

The multi-unit program launched in October 2014.

Wendy Winiewski contributed to this story

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