What's next for recycling containers in the regional district? | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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What's next for recycling containers in the regional district?

The plastic recycling bag will soon be phased out in the Regional DIstrict of Okanagan Similkameen as a new collection container is being discussed in the South Okanagan.
Image Credit: ADOBE STOCK
January 29, 2019 - 5:10 PM

PENTICTON - The days of plastic bagging of recyclables in the South Okanagan are numbered as the regional district moves to phase out plastic by July 1, 2020.

The regional district isn’t wasting any time educating the public and consulting residents regarding what they wish to see as a replacement for recycling bags. This week the district issued a survey that included explanations of three options for plastic.

Option one is a regional district supplied large rolling cart to each residence. The carts would add another $14 annually to the garbage collection bill. Carts would remain the property of the district, who would also look after maintenance and replacement. Cardboard would be bundled and placed separately.

Option two would see blue bins supplied by the regional district, at an additional cost of $10 per household. The regional district would own the bins and again, look after maintenance and replacement, with cardboard bundled separately.

Option three is a departure from the other two in that residents would supply and look after their own cart, blue bin or garbage can. The regional district would supply “recycle only” stickers for the containers, with all rolling carts required to have a lifting bar partway up the front side.

The cart supplied options with the regional district taking ownership represent a bulk purchase in order to get the lowest cost per unit, but both option one and two would add to curbside pickup bills, and may not represent the best solution for everyone, particularly those with steep driveways and limited space.

The cart option is also linked to further contamination issues.

Option three provides the most flexibility for the customer, and a lower priced annual bill. Customers would also have some flexibility over the cost of the container they wish to use.

Ongoing problems with plastic in the recycling stream are to blame for the change, which will affect everyone receiving curbside pickup in the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen.

Traditionally, the clear or transparent blue plastic bags need to be removed from the recycling stream by hand, an expensive and potentially dangerous task to recycling workers.

Plastic is the highest contaminant in paper recycling, which has become a much larger issue with recent changes in the recycling market which has made it more difficult to process paper mixed with plastic.

Regional district residents can fill out a survey online at: www.rdos.bc.ca or go to the RDOS website for the survey form, circle the option desired and mail or drop off the completed form to the RDOS at 101 Martin St., Penticton, V2A 5J9.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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News from © iNFOnews, 2019

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