If you spot someone sifting through your recycling, it may be one of the regional district’s recycling ambassadors checking your blue bin.
The Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) will be sending out crews to randomly inspect the contents of curbside recycling bins this spring and summer.
The RDCO says its recycling education program, now in its fourth season, is part of a broader effort to eliminate contamination in the recycling process.
“We understand that sorting waste and recycling can sometimes be confusing. Most residents are doing a pretty good job including only what’s acceptable to put in the carts,” RDCO engineering services manager Travis Kendel said in a release.
“But recycling audits show there are still a significant number of unacceptable items going into our recycling stream, especially plastic bags and other plastic films, and that’s a big problem.”
In addition to checking bins, the ambassadors will place a reference guide label on the carts to indicate what goes in and what stays out.
Kendel says when in doubt, don’t toss it in is an important thing to keep in mind. Placing the wrong materials in a cart, or items that do not belong or should be recycled at a depot only, lead to a contaminated recycling stream.
The regional district says if there is significant contamination, the cart won’t be picked up until the offending material is removed.
And, in the case of repeated instances of significant contamination, fines can be issued up to $150 per offence.
Below is a list the RDCO says that recycling ambassadors will be looking for:
- Garden hoses, landscape edging and tarps
- Paper towels and tissues
- Non-packaging plastics such as toys, Tupperware type containers and laundry baskets
- Items recyclable at depots and other locations (but not in the cart)
- Plastic bags, including bagged recyclables
- Soft plastics such as cling wrap, bubble wrap, chip and snack bags, zipper bags
- Electronics and small appliances
- Textiles such as clothes, fabric and pillows
- Soft-cover novels and hard-cover books and textbooks
- Hazardous waste
- Hazards such as syringes, propane tanks, oil jugs
To find out more about what to recycle in your curbside cart or at a depot, visit the regional district’s website or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250.