Throwing out the trash in a North Battleford, Sask., recycling bin could now result in a $100 high-quality.
Mayor Ryan Bater said bringing the enforcement forward has been a year-long process that began with auditing the town’s curbside recycling program, which has been in place since 2013.
“Our service provider has indicated to us there’s been quite a lot of non-recyclable material going into the blue bins. And so we’ve been taking a better have a look at that,” Bater said on Monday.
“We’ve done quite a lot of work to coach the general public and to lift public awareness of what can and might’t go within the bins. But we’ve come to some extent where… some members of the general public are only ignoring that. And so we’ve got to take a look at introducing fines as a way of enforcing the principles around recycling.”
The mayor said essentially the most recent load — collected from May 25 to twenty-eight — was rejected by Loraas Environmental Services Ltd.
“That load was sizable. It was 12.7 metric tonnes and it was filled with clothing, food, compostable material like people’s lawn clippings, dirty diapers… and people are clearly not recyclable,” Bater said.
“When a load has too high of a volume of non-recyclable material, it’s considered a ‘spoiled load’ and it’s baled and sent back to us and it goes into our landfill, which fills our landfill in a quicker rate than we’d like.”
The City of North Battleford said one contaminated blue bin has the potential to contaminate a complete truckload of recyclable material.
“The blue bins themselves are easy to read. Right on top of them, there’s pictographs showing what you’ll be able to and might’t put in them… Persons are just ignoring the directives on the highest of the bins, they’re just putting whatever they need in there,” Bater said.
“We’ve been educating people, but that’s not the problem. The problem is items which might be clearly not recyclable, like dirt and grass and dead leaves and dirty diapers and spoiled food. There’s absolute confidence that those aren’t recyclable materials.”
The town said recyclables which might be diverted from the landfill end in decreased operating costs and extend the present cell’s lifespan at its Waste Management Facility.
“We project without delay at the present pace that we’ll have to exchange our existing cell in 2028. And it’s going to cost taxpayers $2,000,000,” Bater said.
“We wish to increase that so long as we will to get more life, but each time we’ve got a spoiled load of recycling, it shortens the life of the present cell.”
Starting June 1, the town said it’ll implement recycling rules to carry individuals accountable for contaminating the recyclable stream.
The high-quality for a primary offence is $100, and goes up one other $100 for the second and third offences. The town said infractions after the third offence could jump to $5,000.
“I believe that we’ll receive suggestions because I’ve anecdotally had quite a lot of people illustrate to me that they feel frustration seeing people of their neighbourhoods not adhering to the very clear directives around recycling but this shall be more enforcement by the town itself,” Bater said.
“Once we get a spoiled load, we all know what neighbourhood it got here from and so we’ll actually inspect the bins and people neighbourhoods and see who’s filling their bin with non-recyclable material after which act accordingly.”
Based on officials, the town solicitor will assist with enforcing any tickets that aren’t paid through the court.
“We hope we don’t need to implement the target is to see people recycling responsibly. We now have an amazing program here and we’re very happy with it,” Bater said.
“It’s just unlucky that some people ignore the principles around it and ignore what we’re trying to realize as a community and, unfortunately, we’ve got to take a look at enforcement with a purpose to ensure compliance.”
People can use Recycle Coach from the town’s website to find out what materials belong within the blue recycle bin and which belong within the black trash bin.