The City of Castlegar’s new waste collection program began last week to mixed results.
In spite of the perception that the new program happened quickly, council has actually been working on developing the program in conjunction with the Regional District of Central Kootenay for almost seven years.
According to the city, the biggest problem with the roll out was that some residents did not properly sort their garbage and organics, resulting in a contaminated waste stream.
“Generally the first weekly organics collection went well and many residents used their organics carts for kitchen scraps and yard and garden waste,” says program ambassador, Emilie teBulte.
“Unfortunately, many of the organics carts had materials that should be in garbage carts, and this means the material was sent to the landfill rather than sent to the composting facility.”
Throughout the week, city staff completed compliance audits and tagged carts with educational information for residents who will need to adjust their sorting practices before the next collection.
Last week the contractor emptied carts that had been tagged, but this will not happen in the future.
Starting next week, carts that are not sorted properly and contain items that don’t belong will not be collected and infraction tags or fines may be issued.
Tips for sorting can be found in the information packages that were delivered with your new garbage cart. They can also be found at castlegar.ca/curbside. On the website you can also find an app with information on what can and can’t go into your curbside collection containers.
Almost anything you can eat can go into the organics bin along with your yard waste: vegetables, fruit, meat, fish, shellfish, bones, eggs, dairy products, bread, dough, pasta, grains, coffee grounds, tea, and small amounts of cooking oil.
Food-soiled paper products such as compostable paper take-out containers, pizza boxes, wooden chopsticks, paper towels, napkins, plates, coffee filters and tea bags can also go in the organics bin.
Residents may see a change in their collection time due to adjustments made by the contractor in order to accommodate the new program. But organics will be collected every week; garbage and recycling will continue to be every other week.
The city is also reminding residents that unlocked carts and bins should be placed at the curb between 4 and 7 a.m. on their scheduled collection day. Do not put carts or bins out the night before as they attract wildlife.
If you have too much yard waste for your organics bin, you can still drop it off at the city’s yard-waste facility near the Castlegar Community Complex.
If you have questions, contact the Solid Waste + Organics Ambassador at 250-365-5979 or email@example.com.
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