The city is asking residents to cut back on the amount of non-recyclable items being tossed in curbside recycling carts. (File photo)

The city is asking residents to cut back on the amount of non-recyclable items being tossed in curbside recycling carts. (File photo)

Nanaimo feeling blue about too many non-recyclables going into the blue bins

City action plan will involve inspections of curbside recycling carts

The City of Nanaimo is asking residents to curb “contamination” waste being tossed into recycling bins.

According to a city press release, Recycle B.C., the provincial authority overseeing recycling across the province, requires recycling collectors such as the City of Nanaimo to maintain contamination rates of less than three per cent to meet contract requirements. Nanaimo’s recycling contamination rate is currently more than 10 per cent and contamination rates as high as 18 per cent have been recorded in some residential recycling loads.

The most common contaminants found in curbside recycling are glass, electronics, plastic bags and wrapping, clothing, scrap metal, construction material, refundables, and hazardous waste.

The city noted in the release that it has put together an action plan to curtail contamination that includes more communication and education, along with curbside inspections of blue carts. People who continue contaminating their recycling will receive a sticker on their blue bins alerting them about unacceptable items and the city could cease recycling collection from households that fail to comply.

For help with identifying blue cart-accepted materials, residents are invited to use the ‘What Goes Where Waste Wizard’ tool found at www.nanaimo.ca or download the Nanaimo Recycles app. People without access to the internet or mobile apps can call the recycling hotline at 1-800-732-9253.

“It’s amazing how well we’ve adapted and become responsible recyclers over the years, but we have to be careful not to become a community of wish-cyclers, tossing items into the blue bin which can’t be properly handled at the recycling facility,” said Nanaimo Mayor Leonard Krog in the release. “That just creates more work on the line, undoes the great work other households have done, and ultimately could hit us in the pocketbooks in a big way. When in doubt, just throw it out. Recycle the materials you’re sure of.”

READ ALSO: Waste audits in Ladysmith find too many plastic bags in recycle bins



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