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Recycling Contamination is Too High in North Cowichan

The municipality of North Cowichan is asking residents to check what recycling they’re leaving at the curb. They say too many materials that should be brought to a depot or other curbs are turning up at the curb.

“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.”

Currently, the municipality is seeing a 7-percent contamination rate which is nearly double the amount which can cause loads to be rejected at recycling plants. The standard is 3-percent, set by Recycle BC, when met leads to savings in taxes related to curbside recycling.

In the municipality’s curbside collection page on their website they say that recycling bins with unacceptable items will be left on the curb, with a note explaining why they weren’t picked up, and the same stands for trash containing recyclable materials.

Materials that should be brought to a depot include plastic bags and other soft plastics, styrofoam, glass, and electronics. Materials that should find other streams of disposal are food waste – which should go in the organics – and hard and soft cover books – which should be thrown in the garbage.

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