Recycling effort in Moncton eyes apartment dwellers

While homeowners in the greater Moncton area are being re-educated about how to separate their household waste for disposal, businesses and people who live in apartments remain exempt from the recycling requirements.

New solid waste plan under development could include large apartments for sorting of household waste

While homeowners in the greater Moncton area are being re-educated about how to separate their household waste for disposal, businesses and people who live in apartments remain exempt from the recycling requirements.

However, RecycleSENB general manager Andrew Wort says that could change as a new solid waste strategy is developed over the next few years.

Wort would like to see businesses and apartment buildings participate in recycling efforts and says incentives might help.

"And those incentives can either be a legislative incentive — in other words a ban or a requirement which would mean each individual municipality would have to do that — or it could be a financial one where we adjust the tip fees to say mixed waste is more expensive than that," said Wort.

Homeowners in Moncton are required to separate their household waste into green bags or blue 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 sorting results in about 60,000 tonnes of waste being diverted from the landfill annually. However, RecycleSENB says 50 per cent or more of the bags arriving at its sorting station have not been sorted properly, so it has launched an education program to try and change that.

Bags that are not sorted properly will be left at curbside and slapped with an orange sticker. If the homeowner doesn't remedy the situation and the city has to take the garbage away and sort it, the homeowner could be hit with a $100 service fee.

Wort says the challenge in having large apartment buildings included in the recycling program is that private companies are often contracted to handle the waste at apartment buildings.

"There are some companies out there saying that they're doing blue green and then in reality it ends up in the landfill cause those two are mixed together," said Wort.

Dan Sampson, director of property management for Killam Properties in Moncton, says his company does try to help out with recycling even though larger buildings are exempt from the sorting requirements.

"In terms of recycling, you know bins for cans, bottles, plastics, things like that," said Sampson. "So that's kind of separated and removed and then we would have just the regular waste going into the container and removed from the properties as well."

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