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New RDCK Recycling Program aims to increase recyclability by combating contamination

The Recycle BC program is coming soon to the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) and now is the time for residents to prepare for the changes. The new program is set to launch throughout the RDCK, starting in mid-June through August, depending on the facility.

Recycle BC requires residents to sort recyclables into main categories such as: paper & cardboard, plastic and metal containers, glass and others.

This change along with other measures such as staffed depots with set operating hours are a combination of efforts to ensure materials collected are recycled to the highest benefit possible. Recycle BC is a stewardship program responsible for residential packaging and printed paper. Commercial and non-packaging material are not accepted in the Recycle BC system.   

“With the current state of the global recycling industry, co-mingled recycling and recycling contaminated with dirty materials or non-recyclables is costly and has a high chance of being landfilled,” said Travis Barrington, RDCK Resource Recovery Technician.

“Changes to adhere to the Recycle BC program requirements will take some time to get used to, but provides assurance that acceptable materials that come to our recycling depots will stay out of landfills.”

The RDCK encourages residents to get informed about the new Recycle BC program (www.recyclebc.ca) and get into the practice of sorting now. Time spent sorting recyclables at home reduces the time required to sort at the depots, especially important with physical distancing requirements.

The RDCK reserves the right to reject large unsorted loads. The infographic below shows Recycle BC’s categories, which includes new materials such as stryofoam and soft plastics not previously accepted at RDCK depots. The categories with the same colour coding can be collected together.

With physical distancing requirements and reduced hours of operation at some sites we strongly recommend residents sort recycling at home as much as possible, making it a quick drop at the depot,” said Barrington.

“Depot launch dates are being set with new contractors and will be announced as they are confirmed over the coming weeks.”

Depot staff will be on site to provide assistance to residents and a new Waste Wizard tool will be available on the RDCK website to inform users of recycling options available in the RDCK. More information can be found at www.rdck.ca/recycling.

Recycling depots located at a RDCK waste facility will match the current hours of the facility. Hours at depots not located at existing waste facilities were set to best accommodate the local community considering nearest depot hours. Sharing resources, such as staff, wherever possible helped to provide more employment opportunities and generally reduce program costs.

The old model of 24/7 access and no staffing resulted in significant illegal dumping at some sites, which put substantial costs on a tax payer funded system. 

Click here for hours of operation at all RDCK waste facilities.

“We are excited to be moving to a recycling program that is consistent across the province and with curbside programs in the district,” said Aimee Watson, RDCK Board Chair.

“There are numerous benefits to partnering with Recycle BC, but also some challenges. We are committed to developing efficient recycling services across the District that result in improved environmental benefits.”