Kelowna, West Kelowna fined $55K for exceeding contaminated recycling levels: RDCO


Place only recyclable items — not garbage or unrecyclable materials — in your blue bins. That’s the message the Regional District of the Central Okanagan (RDCO) issued on Friday after announcing Kelowna and West Kelowna had been fined $55,000 recently for having too much contaminated recycling.“Costly financial penalties are being imposed on some Central Okanagan local governments by Recycle BC,” said the RDCO. “And we’ll see more unless some residents improve their curbside recycling habits.”The regional district says recycling can become contaminated when residents try to recycle material that isn’t deemed recyclable.“Waste audits conducted regularly by Recycle BC show contamination in the region’s curbside recycling carts average around eight per cent, well above allowable levels of three per cent,” said the RDCO. Story continues below advertisement 5:26 Why you should think twice before tossing your batteries in the bin According to the regional district, the most common recycling contaminants are:Household garbageScrap metalDurable plastics such as laundry baskets, toys, tarps, garden hosesBooksConstruction materialTextiles such as clothes, shoes, bedding, pillowsHazardous waste such as electronics, propane tanksDepot only material such as plastic bags, styrofoam, glass and other flexible plastic packaging“Garbage doesn’t belong in your recycling cart,” said Travis Kendel, the regional district’s manager of engineering services.“When the regional district finds unacceptable items, we provide education and if there is a lot, we’ll refuse to collect the cart. Despite our best efforts, contamination still gets through, and there is a cost to that.” Trending Now 1:15 Food scraps collection coming to Edmonton apartments and condos The RDCO said in the last quarter of 2022, Kelowna and West Kelowna were fined a total of $55,000 by Recycle BC. Story continues below advertisement “While it’s encouraging to see most residents on the curbside recycling program doing their best to follow the recycling guidelines, there are still unacceptable items being tossed in the carts, items such as books, scrap metal, plastic toys, plastic bags and glass,” said Kendel.He added that hundreds of carts were left at the curb last year, and weren’t picked up due to excessive contamination. 1:59 High levels of garbage found in Central Okanagan recycling “Nearly 10,000 carts had contamination that required education material to be provided to the resident,” said Kendel. “This year, we plan to advance our enforcement strategy. Story continues below advertisement “We’re going to leave more carts behind, pursue more fines for violators, and continue to put the responsibility on the resident to keep garbage out of recycling.”More information about recycling is available on the RDCO’s website. 1:45 Waste audits: Doing the dirty work of keeping Kelowna’s landfill from overflowing &copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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