September 06, 2013 - 11:22 AM
KAMLOOPS – Styrofoam recycling could be on the way if council agrees to expand the recycling program by becoming a contractor for Multi Material B.C.
A report will go before council on Tuesday outlining the program and what it could mean for the city. As the environmental services supervisor for Kamloops Glen Farrow believes the program has the potential to change the face of recycling, both in the city and the province.
Farrow says city councillors need to make a decision quickly, within the next couple weeks, and if they do decide the program is something they want to commit to we would see the ability to styrofoam and more plastics by May 2014.
Farrow says styrofoam likely will not be picked up from the curb, but rather a depot would be offered for drop offs. The city has yet to offer styrofoam recycling because it is bulky, not easily accommodated at sort facilities and there has not been much of a market for the product.
Regulations will also require the city to ensure the depots are manned during drop off times. A incentive or subsidy based on population will be offered to help cover the costs of extending the recycling program. In theory this subsidy would cover the costs of implementing and carrying out the program.
Currently about 30 to 40 per cent of all waste collected by the city is recyclables. This number is based on weight though and Farrow points out recyclables are often a lot lighter than other waste. The new program would have the potential to improve those numbers Farrow says, especially given the extra funds that would be at the city's disposal to help reach out to and educate the public.
Some cities have been quick to jump on board with the extended recycling program while others were just as quick to decline. Others, like Kamloops, have been looking at the options and have yet to make a firm decision.
The city is always looking for ways to use recycled products and encourage recycling among the public.
- The rubber matting at Prince Charles Park is made from recycled tires.
- Staff is currently looking at ways to recycle the old membrane from the water treatment plant.
- Broken ashpalt is collected by city crews who then use it to patch potholes.
- Garbage containers around the city offer a basket on the side for refundable items like cans and bottles. These items are often picked up by homeless or low income people in the city to be taken to the bottle depots.
- In eight months the multi-family recycling program helped to divert 286 tonnes of recyclables from the landfill.
- Two recycling depots were recently closed, Mission Flats and Valleyview, mostly due to the misuse of the system. Many people were dropping off garbage at the site or not bothering with the sorting bins.
- A new sorting system has been brought to the Ord Road and McGill Road depots to simplify the process and hopefully avoid unsightly piles of mixed recyclables left on the ground.
- Recycling is also accepted at the Mission Flats and Barnhartvale landfill sites.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013