$100 fines a reality for improper recyclers in Kamloops - InfoNews

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$100 fines a reality for improper recyclers in Kamloops

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September 10, 2019 - 4:35 PM

KAMLOOPS - You may want to brush up on your knowledge of recyclable materials, or it could cost you.

Kamloops city council has voted unanimously today, Sept. 10, to support a bylaw amendment that will now see fines for those who repeatedly use city recycling bins improperly.

Kamloops paired with Recycle B.C. in 2017 and as part of the agreement with the provincial program, Kamloops agreed to reduce and maintain recycling bin contamination at three per cent.

This is not in an effort to create revenue, rather, it is to protect the city from costly fines that would be implemented by Recycle B.C., according to the city's communications manager Wendy Heshka.

“We've been very lucky so far, we haven't had any fines yet but I think they're done giving us warnings,” Heshka says. “They've been really happy with what we're doing so far... but the next step for us is fines.”

Currently, Kamloops has a contamination rate of 15 per cent, according to a report submitted to council. If the city doesn’t get the contamination rates down by 25 per cent by October, Recycle B.C. will begin to implement hefty fines.

“For single-family cart collection, the failure credits are $5,000 per load for the first infraction, $10,000 per load for the second infraction, $15,000 per load for the third infraction, and $20,000 per load for the fourth and subsequent infractions. For multifamily bin collection, the failure credits are $5,000 per load,” the report states.

The $100 fines will be issued to repeat offenders that put non-recyclable material in their individual, multi-family or apartment recycling bins. Heshka shared documents at today's council meeting that showcased the types of non-recyclables found in bins.

Just over nine per cent of the items that make up the contamination rate is non-acceptable material such as wood, garbage and electronics, while 5.2 per cent of the contaminants is non-sortable material, such as plastic bags or containers of mixed recycling. The rest of the contamination comes from other items not accepted, such as glass.

Heshka says this is not to fine people who put “the odd plastic bag” in the recycling bins.

“We're not expecting big money from this and our intent is certainly not to create a big revenue stream,” Heshka says.


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