Kelowna, West Kelowna fined $55K for exceeding contaminated recycling levels: RDCO – Okanagan

Only put recyclable items in the blue bin, not trash or non-recyclable items.

That’s a message issued by the Central Okanagan Regional District (RDCO) on Friday after Kelowna and West Kelowna recently announced they were fined $55,000 for too much contaminated recycling.

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The RDCO said “Recycle BC has imposed heavy financial penalties on some of the Central Okanagan Municipalities.” “And there will be more unless some residents improve their recycling habits on the streets.”

Local districts say recycling can be contaminated when residents attempt to recycle materials not considered recyclable.

“Regular waste audits conducted by Recycle BC show that contamination of local roadside recycling carts averages around 8%, well above the acceptable level of 3%,” RDCO said. .

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According to local districts, the most common recycling contaminants are:

  • household waste
  • scrap metal
  • Durable plastics such as laundry baskets, toys, tarps, and garden hoses
  • books
  • construction materials
  • Textile products such as clothing, shoes, bedding, and pillows
  • Hazardous waste such as electronics and propane tanks
  • Depot-specific materials such as plastic bags, styrofoam, glass, and other flexible plastic packaging

“No trash should be in the recycling cart,” says Travis Kendel, Regional District Engineering Services Manager.

“We provide education and refusal to take back large amounts of discarded items found in our district. ”

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The RDCO said Kelowna and West Kelowna were fined a total of $55,000 by Recycle BC in the last quarter of 2022.

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“While it is encouraging to see that most residents participating in curbside recycling programs are doing their best to follow recycling guidelines, there are a lot of things that can go wrong, such as books, scrap metal, plastic toys, plastic bags and glass. Unacceptable items have been thrown into the cart,” Kendell said.

He added that hundreds of carts were left on curbs last year and weren’t picked up due to excessive contamination.

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“With nearly 10,000 carts contaminated, we had to provide residents with educational materials,” says Kendel. “This year, we plan to move forward with our enforcement strategy.

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“We will continue to leave more carts behind, impose higher fines on violators, and hold residents accountable for not recycling their trash.”

For more information on recycling, visit RDCO website.

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