While CVRD residents are starting to get the message about what belongs in the blue recycling totes, boots and hoses (among other things) continue finding their way into the system.

In November of last year, the CVRD reported that contamination levels in the bluebox collection program were 15 percent, five times higher than the provincial target.

Solid Waste Operations Superintendent Jason Adair said the rate is now closer to 12 percent and education is key to increasing compliance.

“We still have a ways to go, but we’re still putting a lot of resources into educating people, we’re using social media, our website, we’ve got staff on the street that are actually talking to citizens and helping them,” said Adair. “A lot of times people are wanting to do the right thing and thinking that you can recycle anything in there.”

Adair said, “It’s very specific items that can go in there, we always remind people that this is a business and everything in there needs to be processed and packaged for marketing.”

He said residents need to drop off items like glass, plastic and styrofoam at a recycling depot.

“They’re still putting glass in their blue recycling tote and their still putting film plastic and styrofoam, those things are recyclable, but they need to come to a recycling depot to recycle those things,” said Adair. “Every time you put a piece of styrofoam or film plastic, that has to be manually removed by the processing plant and it ends up in landfills. They are not able to pick every single contaminant so that ends up going in to become part of the cardboard bale or the metal bale.”

Adair said when mills get metal or cardboard bails and they see these unwanted items, they pay less for the product.

For more information about recycling in the CVRD or the Recyclopedia, click here.