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New recycling program could be unfair to seniors, people with disabilities

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May 13, 2014 - 2:37 PM

VERNON - Vernon City Hall is learning from its populace you can’t put everyone in the same box.

Multi-Material B.C. is set to take over the city’s recycling system next Monday, and that will involve shifting pick up from blue bags to blue bins. There are concerns seniors and people with disabilities will struggle with the new containers.

Coun. Catherine Lord, among other councillors, spoke up on behalf of local residents at a council meeting Monday.

“Say you’ve got one of those walkers, you can tie the bag to that and drag it along but with this (bin) you have to pick it up and then you’ve got no hands left for a walker,” Lord says. “Same thing with people walking with poles or a cane, it’s almost impossible for them to do it.”

She’s heard some residents will be putting their recycling in the garbage instead of using the bins, and says that would be an unfortunate outcome. She wants to check with the Seniors Network to find out how many people are affected, and plans on keeping a close eye on the issue.

“I want to make sure they (MMBC) are at least aware of it, and if possible, lobby them to see if they can do something about it,” Lord says.

While Lord wanted to send a letter to MMBC, council resolved to take a wait and see approach.

Coun. Juliette Cunningham has received complaints about the size of the box, the weight once it’s full, and the fact it isn't contained like a bag and can be knocked over, causing potential littering. But, she supported waiting until after the program has been implemented to lobby MMBC for change.

“Sometimes you can speculate on what the difficulties will be, and perhaps they won’t be as difficult as people are thinking,” Cunningham says.

Council will monitor the new program and any complaints that come in once it’s established.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Charlotte Helston at chelston@infotelnews.ca or call 250-309-5230. To contact the editor, email mjones@infotelnews.ca or call 250-718-2724.

News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2014
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