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Blue boxes, yard trash hurting workers: waste contractor

City trash contractor complained to Penticton council about workers being injured emptying blue boxes filled with yard waste.
April 17, 2013 - 3:02 PM

Switching from blue boxes to plastic bags for yard waste might get newspapers in the trash.

BFI Canada complained to Penticton city council their staff were being injured emptying blue boxes filled with yard waste. The company wants yard trash in blue or clear plastic bags for each of the 19 yard waste collection days. The other suggestion was renting carts from BFI. These carts are picked up by machines and do not need to be handled.

City staff reported at Monday night's council meeting switching from city-supplied blue boxes to bags will not affect the city's solid waste budget. It might become more expensive for users though. Users will have to buy the new blue or clear trash bags.

Acting mayor Garry Litke said "We are trying to make recycling easier for people. If we make it more expensive for them they will put newspapers in the garbage."

Coun. Andrew Jakubeit said if 65% of residents are using blue boxes switching to bags will come as a shock.

"We are going to bear the brunt of upset customers."

Litke said he does not feel the city should be responsible for BFI worker safety.

"That should be a cost to them. I think if BFI really wants to make their workplace safe they need to pay for that change."

The decision to remove city-supplied blue boxes was put on hold. The matter is expected to come back to council.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shannon Quesnel at or call 250-488-3065.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013
InfoTel News Ltd

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