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More questions about Vernon blue bin recycling program

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October 14, 2015 - 2:30 PM

VERNON - Vernon city council is embarking on a blue bin fact-finding mission.

Spurred by a pair of motions brought forward by Coun. Scott Anderson, council agreed to investigate concerns — and possible solutions — around the Multi-Material B.C. blue box recycling system which came into effect in May 2014.

"Numerous people have expressed dissatisfaction with the current system and many of them say they use it less or simply don't use it at all anymore," Anderson says.  "If they're using it less, that means a lot more material is going into the landfill instead of into the recycling stream.”

The North Okanagan Regional District is locked into a contract with MMBC until 2019, and a complete overhaul of the system likely isn’t possible until the contract expires. But Anderson feels interim measures could be put in place to alleviate at least some of the concerns, such as litter blowing onto the streets.

“What is possible as an immediate fix to at least some of the problems?” Anderson says.

Council will contact the provincial recycling company and inquire about the possibility of immediate changes, as well as options and costs to change the system when the contract is up.

Council is also requesting a report from the North Okanagan Regional District on any increase or decrease in the amount of material being recycled since the blue bins were introduced.

“With all these people saying they’re no longer recycling, are we recycling less? And if we are, we’re sort of going backwards,” Anderson says.

At the council meeting yesterday, Oct. 13, Coun. Juliette Cunningham voted against asking the regional district for a report, saying it will be difficult to quantify any changes in the volume of recycling because more material is actually diverted from the landfill now.

Coun. Bob Spiers said overall he believes the new system is working out. Unlike Anderson, he’s personally heard very few complaints, and said one nice thing about the system is that it’s free.

“We used to cost it out to the taxpayers. I think we were paying about… $50 or $60 bucks a year, so that’s been taken off. Do we want to go back to that? I don’t know. It’s not bothering me.”

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

News from © iNFOnews, 2015

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