Recycling program cancelled due to contamination

May 6, 2014 0 By Angie Bergenson

recycling program

Illegal dumping has brought an end to a B.C. neighborhood’s long time recycling strategy.

For more than two decades, Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) had seven unstaffed recycling locations as part of their recycling program, where everyone in the region could drop offtheir recyclable materials at no cost, but the program has now been terminated because of unlawful garbage dumpers.

The program initially began with thirteen sites but was eventually reduced to seven following illicit activity.

“We’ve had several fires,” said CVRD’s Jason Adair, who also noted that the bins are spray painted frequently, particularity on Halloween. According to Adair, over time – with the exception of the remaining seven locations that will soon be permanently shut down – the other six that had made up the original thirteen were eliminated over the years because of issues such as vandalism, garbage dumping and loitering problems.

Adair commented that it is a shame the program will be ended. “A lot of people do use it appropriately. But there are some people that are choosing to dump their sofas and their beds and their pianos and oil,” he said. The remaining seven recycle bins will be removed May 19.

Illegal dumping costs dealt the final blow to the recycling program.

Despite the vandalism and other issues, what finally resulted in the program’s termination was the expense of having to deal with garbage that was dumped in the recycling bins. Having to put up with so much contamination among the recyclables, the processor wanted to double the price they typically charged.

Adair explained that the processor would sometimes refuse to take some of the recycled material because the contamination was too great. He also said that they wanted $200,000 to deal with the mess, which is $100,000 more than the current cost.

Moreover, the processor was not the only one who wanted to raise their fee. The company responsible for hauling the bins also wanted to double their price because they had to start bringing an extra bin with them upon pickup to remove all of the garbage that had been tossed inside and around the bins.

The additional costs simply made the recycling program unmanageable. Now, residents in the region will only be able to dispose of their recyclables through curbside pickup and using the three Cowichan Valley Regional District recycling centers.