Due to the flooding and highway closures going on elsewhere in BC, Recycle BC is temporarily suspending collection of all glass and Styrofoam packaging at its depots and in curbside pickup effective Monday.
The Regional District of Central Kootenay says there is also the possibility some recycling depots in the area will be closed due to Recycle BC’s inability to deliver new containers. All recycling collected at RDCK depots is hauled on routes to the Lower Mainland for processing and sale.
Recycle BC and their hauling contractors say receiving facilities are nearing capacity and new supplies required for depot operation can’t be obtained until highways are reopened.
RDCK resource recovery technician Travis Barrington says in the case of glass, “the facility where it’s processed is in Abbotsford and it’s currently underwater.”
You’re asked to hold on to your glass and foam for now.
“Luckily, those usually make up a smaller amount of recycling,” Barrington says. “If you absolutely can’t hold on to it, we will take them at the waste facilities. Usually when recycling is included in household waste, we charge double, but under these circumstances that charge will not apply.”
You can still recycle paper, cardboard, and mixed plastics. Barrington explains those things are baled and compacted once they reach the local sorting facility. They can be stored because they take up much less space than glass, which is shipped to the Lower Mainland in the large white bags you see at depots.
Styrofoam, meanwhile, takes specialized equipment to compact and otherwise takes up a lot of room.
“Hopefully in the scheme of things not being able to recycle glass for a couple of weeks is one of the smaller inconveniences people are experiencing right now,” Barrington said.
The RDCK says it’s working closely with Recycle BC and all haulers as the situation changes and to provide alternative methods of collection where possible.
In Greater Trail, curbside programs will no longer accept segregated glass starting Monday. Containers and paper products will continue to be collected.
The recycling depot at the McKelvey Creek Landfill will no longer accept foam, glass, plastic bags and overwrap, and other flexible plastic packaging. Containers and paper/cardboard will continue to be accepted.
In the Boundary, recycling depots will no longer accept glass and foam. But they will continue to accept containers, paper/cardboard and plastic bags and overwrap, and other flexible plastic packaging.
“We thank residents for their patience and understanding until things get back normal,” said Regional District of Kootenay Boundary board chair Linda Worley. “It’s so important to recycle and we ask residents to store the [items] that aren’t going to be accepted.”