The contamination of selective collection still considered too high

North Cowichan is stepping up recycling bin inspections as part of its commitment to the provincial Recycle BC program and contaminated bins will not be collected curbside.

The municipality was recently asked to ensure that contamination from recycling does not exceed 3%. Currently, the rate is about nine percent. Recycle BC can impose fines on North Cowichan if recycling loads delivered to a sorting depot are contaminated with non-recyclable materials.

This step follows a year of education aimed at reducing contamination by 25%. Curbside recycling audits were conducted by Waste Connections, the contracted curbside collector and staff. Bins found with items not accepted were labeled with cart hangers and “oops” stickers, and information on proper recycling was left behind.

The most common contaminants found in recycling bins are:

* Garbage and kitchen scraps/organics (these items go in trash cans or organics carts)

* Electronics (old toasters, radios and microwaves should be taken to a recycling depot for free disposal)

* Plastic, polystyrene and glass bags and film (these items can be taken to a recycling depot for free disposal)

Another common problem is bag recycling. Items in recycling bins should be loose and not inside a plastic bag (although the yellow recycling bag that some residents use is acceptable).

Not sure what goes where? Use the Waste Management Wizard on the North Cowichan website or the MNC Curbside app to help sort waste. Learn more about proper recycling by visiting

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