The City of Moncton says 167 bags of trash were slapped with orange rejection stickers in Monday's trash collection for not complying with the sorting requirements.
Moncton started enforcement on Monday of the Recycyle SENB program to separate household trash into blue bags or green bags, depending on the nature of the material and whether it can be recycled.
An earlier attempt at enforcement of the policy this fall was postponed due to widespread confusion about the rules.
Trash was collected from about 3,000 households on Monday. City spokesperson Isabelle LeBlanc says having 167 non-compliant bags represents an improvement, but it will take time for everyone to adjust.
"The program is not all that different from what we've been used to over the past 10 or 15 years," she said. "It's just a matter of perhaps taking another second to figure out exactly where it should go and certainly that can make a big difference."
Sheila Rogers is one Moncton resident who took extra care this week to sort her garbage in the appropriate blue or green bag.
"It did take me a little bit of time — I did have to go online on the website just to be sure I was putting the right things in the right bag," said Rogers.
That effort paid off for her when all her bags were picked up.
"It all went," she said. "I do see quite a few neighbours, though, with the orange stickers, which might not make them too happy," said Rogers.
If improperly sorted bags are left behind at the curb homeowners are expected to remove them within 24 hours, resort them and return them to the curb on the next garbage night.
If bags are not removed, the City of Moncton will return to collect them and charge homeowners a $100 service fee.
While enforcement began in Moncton on Monday, it started Nov. 12 in neighbouring Riverview and Dieppe.
Andrew Wort of Recycle SENB estimates about 10 per cent of households in those communities had at least one of their bags rejected.
LeBlanc said the trash collectors also need time to adjust to the strict enforcement of the policy.
"It certainly takes time for them to know," said Leblanc. "As well, they have about three seconds to make a decision as to whether a bag needs to be stickered or not and so it's certainly an adaptation for all of us."