The City of Surrey is undertaking an ‘audit’ of residential curbside recycling bins to cut down on the amount of contamination, but some residents say it’s a waste of money.
Surrey’s solid waste manager Harry Janda says the city’s contract with Recycle BC indicates blue bin recycling contamination can’t be any more than three per cent.
Right now it’s between 10 and 12 per cent, and Janda says the city could face a $240,000 fine if it doesn’t comply.
“Residents are thinking that a certain item, any type of plastics can be put into the curbside recycling carts…stuff like scrap metal pots and pans they’re putting in there, PVC pipes etc.”
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Resident Minnie Faulker has had a sticker slapped onto her blue recycling bin a few times for non-compliance, and says it’s often not clear as to what she’s supposed to do.
“I think it’s stupid you don’t know what jar or can to put in, one day it’s one thing, the next day, ‘oh, you’re not allowed to put it ’ and then they put a sticker on, but they don’t let you know anything.”
Faulker says there’s an easy solution.
“Give us a list of what we’re supposed to do and then people won’t do it. They don’t tell you what to put in it, then I get a sticker, I didn’t take my sticker off and they wouldn’t pick my garbage up the next day and yet I was as honest as can be.”
Janda says the city is putting more effort into an education campaign as it continues with the audit for another month or so.
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“We need to ensure residents are source separating the material into the appropriate cart or taking it to the appropriate depots.”
If residents don’t comply, they could see their recycling collection end.
As for the cost of audit, Janda says it’s hard to determine at this time.
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