Moncton extends grace period for garbage sorting

There is a lot of trash talk happening in the Moncton area as confusion persists around household rules for sorting garbage.

Confusion persists about what type of trash goes into green bags and blue bags

Moncton is still struggling with attempts to get people to properly sort their garbage 2:14

There is a lot of trash talk happening in the Moncton area as confusion persists around household rules for sorting garbage.

The region is in the midst of an education campaign to remind people of the types of garbage that are acceptable for green bags and the types acceptable for blue bags.

Mike Randall of Riverview says there is too much confusion around garbage sorting rules in the Moncton area to start enforcement of the policy on Nov. 12. (CBC)
Those who don't comply could face a $100 service fee if rejected garbage remains at curbside for 24 hours.

The initial attempt at compliance resulted in so many complaints to Moncton city officials that a grace period was implemented. Moncton is now delaying enforcement of the policy until Nov. 18.

It is all very confusing to Mike Randall of Riverview. He received a rejection sticker for something Moncton says is allowed - putting leaves in transparent bags.

"There has been poor communication admittedly by all parties around the changes that have been implemented," said Randall.

"The day after a media report that said we will have a reprieve – we will continue to pick up garbage that is improperly sorted up until Nov. 12th – the day before that came out my bags were rejected."

Andrew Wort of the region's solid waste commission, now known as Recycle SENB, understands why people are still confused.

"For a very long time this program has been in place and it's the old adage – it's hard to teach an old dog new tricks," said Wort.

"So people have really believed that they've been doing this properly because we've accepted it and when I came in a year ago we looked at the waste streams and said no we've got to fix this."

Recycle SENB's Andrew Wort says sorters have seen an improvement in waste separation. (CBC)
A random survey of the waste arriving at the region's sorting station found more than half the bags were not properly sorted.

City of Moncton spokesperson Isabelle LeBlanc says city council didn't feel people are ready yet to enforce compliance with the sorting program so they are delaying enforcement until Nov. 18.

"Hopefully residents will have that additional time to spend on getting a little more informed and asking their questions and we certainly welcome questions at Recycle SENB," said LeBlanc. "They are the subject matter experts and so we invite people to contact them if they have any specific questions related to sorting."

However, neighbouring Riverview is sticking with the Nov. 12 compliance date. Randall believes that is too soon.

"I hear so many different stories," he said. "The media is reporting the best they know and the message clearly isn't getting through to people," he said. "So there's a problem.

"They should fix the problem before they start penalizing homeowners."


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