People in Moncton who don't properly separate their garbage into the `wet' or `dry' streams could now face a $100 fee.
The new head of the region's solid waste commission says residents are doing a poor job of separating their garbage into blue and green bags.
Andrew Wort recently tested 10 bags from every garbage truck arriving at the solid waste commission.
"After we did that for a couple of weeks, I said we've got to get serious about this because a lot of the loads are not compliant," said Wort.
Terry Keating, the chairman of Regional Service Commission 7 that oversees waste management in the southeastern part of the province, said those who sort their garbage properly are in the minority.
"At least 50 per cent of people aren’t sorting their waste properly in the region," said Keating.
Moncton requires residents to sort their garbage into blue or green bags. Green bags are for wet waste, including all food items, soiled food wrappers, hygiene products, yard waste, tissues, paper towels and any other soiled item that could contaminate recyclables.
The blue bags are for dry material, including items that can be easily rinsed or wiped clean, recyclables and non-recyclables, and all types of paper, cardboard, bottles and cans
The solid waste commission, which rebranded itself RecycleSENB as part of today's announcement, is launching an education program and Wort says there will be consequences for those who don't learn how to properly sort their waste.
"A certain portion of the population will jump on board freely and there's another segment that 'tsk', you have to tap them and say, `Hey guys, you're not doing it right,' which means we have to have enforcement at the curb," said Wort.
Garbage collectors will place orange rejection stickers on poorly sorted bags, indicating why the bags were not picked up.
The offender must then take the non-compliant bag away from the curbside, resort the waste and put it out the following week.
If the non-compliant bag remains at curbside 24 hours after the sticker has been placed, an alternate collection service truck will pick up the bag and the household will be billed a $100 fee.
Offenders will receive one warning and then be subject to the fee, said Don Morehouse, Moncton's director of public works.
One change under the public education campaign is the use of the terms `wet' and `dry' for waste will no longer be used, said Keating. Instead, the terms `blue' and `green' will be used, he said.
"Green is food and yard waste – never glass. Blue is recyclables, like glass, plastic, cardboard and paper – never food waste," said Keating.
The commission says it receives about 60,000 tonnes of waste separated into the blue and green bags each year and believes increased compliance will divert more waste from the landfill
Morehouse said similar education campaigns in the past have produced quick results, with people sorting their garbage properly.
The solid waste commission is also banning the use of large, clear bags that people use in the fall to collect leaves.
The separation program for household waste from the 200,000 residents of southeastern New Brunswick was created in 1999 by the Westmorland-Albert Solid Waste Commission.