The CVRD curbside recycling program has seen the contamination levels decrease from 15 to 13 per cent in the last few months, but more work remains to hit the three per cent target.

Education is the major reason for the reduced contamination levels and Solid Waste Operations Superintendent Jason Adair takes us through some of the education practices the CVRD is employing.

“We’ve really stepped up the education on the street, we have staff out there providing educational material to people who are still a little confused about how the curbside recycling program works, said Adair. “In our last audit report from Recycle BC, we did see a two per cent improvement on our contamination rate and that’s because of CVRD staff going out and providing educational materials to people on the street.”

However, Adair said some people believe they can put anything in the tote and staff will sort it out.

“Our highest rate of contamination is things like vacuum cleaners and garbage, those are the things that are really hurting us,” said Adair. “The folks that are a bit confused isn’t the high level of contamination. Where we’re really seeing the issue is people not using the program appropriately in any way, where they’re actually putting garbage bags and dead animals into their tote.

Adair said, “The rate is at 13 per cent and 10 per cent is things like that.”

During the holidays, people need to refrain from trying to recycle Christmas ribbon in the blue totes.

Recycle BC regulations state that the contamination level needs to be three per cent or lower and Adair said the target is realistic if people stop trying to recycle electronics, dead animals, and garbage.

The BC Conservation Officer Service said dead animals need to be taken to the woods, far away from recreational areas.