Make sure your containers aren’t contaminated.
That request comes from the City of Nanaimo, which challenges citizens to ‘recycle right.’
“Recycling is not just a response to the environmental crisis – it plays an important role in transforming us from a consumerism society into a regenerating culture,” says Engineering and Public Works’ Taaj Daliran. “This shift away from a “throwaway” society is inevitable, and important. As a City, we have a responsibility to help educate people to ensure that recycling is done correctly. Recycling contamination causes challenges that are counter-productive to achieving our zero-waste goals.”
The city says sometimes, ‘offending’ materials will show up in blue carts, where they don’t belong.
The challenge asks residents to;
- Share photos and/or videos showing how you recycle things, using the hashtag #RecycleRight and/or #NanaimoRecycles
- Tag the City of Nanaimo on Facebook and/or Instagram
- Download the Nanaimo Recycles app and try the What Goes Where” tool
It promises anyone who joins in the challenge has the chance to win prizes.
“Contamination reduces the quality of the materials recovered to be delivered to end markets, causes materials that otherwise would have been recovered and recycled to be disposed of, and pose serious safety hazards to employees,” explains Daliran. “An example is seven fires in the collection or sorting process only in 2022, damage the machinery that sorts the materials, and increases the cost of recycling due to the increased repairs required and time lost due to machinery being shut down for repairs.”
Daliran says if recycling keeps going the way it is with the levels of contamination in bins, the city can face fines and, as a result, collection costs would increase.
More information about what does and does not go inside the blue bins is available here.