A team of garbage inspectors will soon be hitting the streets looking inside yard waste and recycling carts checking for contaminants —and tagging carts with contamination to make sure they’re not picked up.
It’s the latest effort by the Regional Waste Reduction Office to help stem a contamination problem that’s costing taxpayers big bucks.
“It’s costing everyone a big chunk of money to sort through the yard waste and recyclables to get the garbage out,” said regional waste reduction manager Peter Rotheisler.
”At the recycling sorting facility, the monthly charge to remove non recyclables from the material picked up at the curb can hit $10,000. And removing contaminants from yard waste collected at the curb and delivered to the Glenmore landfill is now costing the region approximately $20,000 per month. These expenses are really unnecessary if residents paid closer attention to what they’re putting into their curbside yard waste and recycling containers.”
Rotheisler adds the contaminants showing up in the yard waste stream are things like, but not limited to plastic bags, cardboard, scrap metal and garbage.
“All these items have to be removed by hand because the yard waste is used to make Glenmore Grow, a composting material sold at the landfill,” he said. “It doesn’t take much contamination to really ruin the final product.”
As for contaminants in the recycling stream, Rotheisler says that’s just about anything, including garbage, glass, yard waste and even bags of dirty diapers, items that are obviously not considered recycling.
Rotheisler says those people who continue to contaminate their yard waste and recyclables could eventually have their collection service suspended-until they can prove they can use the system properly.
For more information on the automated cart system, or recycling and yard waste collection, please visit regionaldistrict.com or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office, at 250-469-.6250.