Unacceptable contamination rates in recycling bins has led to North Cowichan launching an education campaign about the program. (File photo)

Unacceptable contamination rates in recycling bins has led to North Cowichan launching an education campaign about the program. (File photo)

North Cowichan to begin inspecting recycling bins in January

Contamination rates too high

With contamination rates unacceptably high, North Cowichan will begin inspections of curbside recycling bins in the municipality in January.

The inspections are part of an education campaign that North Cowichan is launching to inform residents what, and what should not, go in the recycling bins.

Currently, the municipality is seeing a seven per cent contamination rate by weight in curbside recycling collection, which is measured through the monitoring and audits by Recycle BC.

This level of contamination is significantly above the required three per cent and can result in recycling loads being rejected, or increases in service fees.

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“Our goal is to work together as a community to reduce the level of contamination in our recycling stream,” said Mayor Al Siebring.

“By doing this, we can ensure a successful program, do our part for the environment and avoid increases in fees.”

The education campaign includes the inspections of the bins, in which stickers will be placed on bins with guidance on sorting, as needed.

Some of the items currently found in curbside recycling need to be diverted to other waste streams or brought to a depot.

Common items being found in curbside recycling bins that should be recycled at a depot include film, soft plastics like plastic bags and plastic wrappers, Styrofoam, glass and electronics.

Other items found in the bins that should go to other streams include food waste, which should go in the organic bins, and hard and soft cover books, which should go in the garbage bins.

To learn more about the recycling education program, visit northcowichan.ca/recyclingSOS.

Recycling