District aims to lower recycling contamination in Squamish

Community survey and glass collection station public engagement launched

The District of Squamish is taking measures to reduce community recycling contamination through education, tote audits, recycling infrastructure and events. Recycling contamination occurs when material that is not accepted for curbside recycling is placed in the curbside recycling tote. A community-wide recycling survey has been launched to gain insight into resident recycling behaviours and challenges, and to collect feedback on locations for a new pilot program that would offer more solutions to locally recycle glass.

“It’s a shared community responsibility to ensure only appropriate materials enter our residential curbside collection program,” says District of Squamish Mayor Armand Hurford. “Effective recycling programs require appropriate tools, knowledge and effort. Our goal is to build an understanding of how and why the community currently recycles, and what barriers might exist in order to guide investments going forward.”

Reducing Recycling Contamination

The District of Squamish became a Recycle BC collection partner in 2018. Under the current program, Recycle BC has a 3 per cent recycling contamination threshold penalty, and reserves the right to apply a penalty fee per audited load of curbside material with a contamination rate above 3 per cent.  The District currently experiences an average recycling contamination rate of 7.84 per cent. Among the top contaminants are glass, books, textiles and plastic. Staff have developed a Recycling Contamination Reduction Plan (CRP) to reduce the amount of residential curbside collection contamination and avoid financial penalties which have the potential to impact all residents. The CRP outlines the District’s outreach, education and awareness efforts to reduce recycling contamination across the community.

Community Recycling Survey

A Community Recycling Survey has been launched to understand community needs, awareness and challenges around recycling and waste diversion. It also aims to gather information and feedback on recycling depot services and glass collection location options.

Neighbourhood glass collection station pilot program input needed

In response to feedback from residents regarding the need for better glass recycling options, the District is developing a neighbourhood glass collection station pilot program in an effort to reduce the high volume of glass contamination that is found in residential recycling totes.

Glass collection stations will be piloted though 2025 and each station will include two medium wildlife-resistant glass collection totes and two temporary parking spots for drop-off access. All residents are encouraged to identify and share potential glass collection station locations through an online mapping tool. The tool can be found at letstalksquamish.ca/recycling

Recycling Education Stations

The District of Squamish, in partnership with the Squamish Climate Action Network has been hosting a series of recycling education stations in public spaces throughout the community. Residents are invited to ask questions, receive resources and information, and learn more about the local recycling system. Future dates and locations will be announced soon.

To learn more about recycling in Squamish and participate in the Community Recycling Survey, visit letstalksquamish.ca/recycling.

April 4, 2024

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  • David Lassmann Apr 4, 2024, 9:12 PM (51 days ago)

    This is long overdue. All levels of government need to work on creating a recycling scheme that is efficient and cost-effective.

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