The City’s Sanitation Section is implementing a new process this month in an effort to reduce contamination in recycling carts and bins.
Since 2017, when the City of Kamloops became of a member of Recycle BC, a process has been in place for staff to monitor carts and bins throughout all neighbourhoods. This process includes issuing warnings to households when items other than recyclables have been placed in containers.
Now, based on levels of contamination in some carts and bins, the City will begin fining repeat offenders who are in contravention of Solid Waste and Recyclables Bylaw No. 40-59.
"The City will be targeting enforcement on the worst offenders—residences that contaminate recycling with garbage, yard waste, hazardous waste, and even items such as garden hoses," said Glen Farrow, Streets and Environmental Services Manager. “This is not about one plastic bag or straw that inadvertently makes its way into a recycling container. This process will focus on repeat offenders. Fines of $100 will help offset the service level failure credits that the City may receive from Recycle BC."
Two years ago, the City of Kamloops became of member of Recycle BC, the provincial stewardship organization that oversees recycling practices in Kamloops and other municipalities in the province.
As part of its mandate, Recycle BC requires member municipalities to recycle specific packaging and paper products. The organization tracks and measures municipalities’ contamination rates (items not meant for recycling collection) and implements failure credits when cities repeatedly do not meet requirements.
“A service level failure credit is similar to a penalty and would reduce the City’s budget for delivering the residential recycling program,” said Farrow.
In Kamloops, items that are recyclable but do not fall within the home collection program may be taken Recycle BC depots or to other recycling collectors. The City offers the free Waste Wise app, which allows residents to do a search for specific items for disposal to learn where they can be placed or taken. Information about what is accepted in the City’s recycling program and what is accepted at recycling depots is also available online at Kamloops.ca/Recycling.