FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The City of Fort St. John says that they are once again seeing a large number of issues with residents disposing of garbage in their curbside recycling bins.
According to the City’s Communications Coordinator Julie Rogers, that this past week was the worst week ever for the city’s curbside recycling program. In total, there were 15 dumpsters worth of non-recyclable waste that was found in recycling bins this week.
Rogers said that the items found included clothing, bedding, grass clippings, garden hoses, needles, batteries, and bags of kitchen garbage. She explained that workers at D&T Disposals sift through the recycling by hand after it is collected from residents, and that the recycling has to be cleaned of contaminants or else it is not able to be recycled.
“When there’s broken glass and needles and large batteries leaking hazardous fluids and things containing lead and mercury and industrial waste, that’s a hazard for these people,” said Rogers. “Not only is it not recyclable, but you’re hurting people.”
Rogers added that the city also saw a spike in problems with contaminants in the recycling at this time last year, and offered that a likely explanation is an increase in residents doing Spring cleaning after winter. She says that if residents think that they’ll be disposing of more waste or recycling than usual, they are able to get an extra bin from the city. The cost of an extra bin is a one-time $30 administrative fee, while the extra bin costs only $5 per month.
Rogers says that the City currently isn’t able to collect yard waste to be composted, as there is nowhere to for them to dispose of it for composting.