British Columbia

No end yet for Vancouver's uncollected recycling saga

After weeks of uncollected recycling and more snow in the forecast, Multi Material B.C. pleads patience with frustrated Vancouver residents.

Many residents have gone weeks without their recycling being picked up

Animals are starting to get into the soggy and stinking recycling that has not been collected in weeks. (Jacy Schindel/CBC)

After weeks of uncollected recycling and more snow in the forecast, Multi Material B.C. is pleading with frustrated Vancouver residents to be patient.

Allen Langdon is the managing director at Multi Material B.C., the non-profit that runs Vancouver's recycling service.

He told CBC's The Early Edition the entire situation has been challenging.

"We're going to be working with our contractor and other resources to try and get at other areas of the city that haven't been accessible for a number of weeks," he promised.

Some of the hardest hit areas of the city include East Vancouver and neighbourhoods at higher elevations. Langdon said it's because recycling trucks are finding it difficult to navigate the icy alleyways.

Multi Material B.C. services communities like Langley and Coquitlam, but he said Vancouver has been the most difficult to get to because of the subpar road conditions.

"We're really dependent on the city ... We're servicing people mostly through alleyways which are the lowest priority when it comes to sanding and salting," he said. "In some of these alleyways, you have ice that's maybe six inches thick now."

While Langdon said crews are looking into different options for getting into areas inaccessible to regular recycling trucks, nothing has been finalized so far.

Huge backlog creating more delays

The backlog of recycling also means crews have struggled to pick up recycling efficiently.

"A truck used to be able to complete a route before being able to go back to the facility to dump," Langdon said. "[Now] they're probably making it through a quarter of the route."

Despite this, he encouraged residents to put out all their recycling and use extra containers if necessary.

"There's no limit on how much recycling we're going to take," he said. "We're going to take it all away and we'll hopefully get to everyone as soon as we can."

With files from The Early Edition

To listen to the interview, click on the link labelled Vancouver deals with snow and ice