Nfld. & Labrador

Why the town of Deer Lake is recruiting 'trash-talkers'

Garbage and recycling changes are coming in October, and the municipality is looking for volunteers to help sort out the differences.

'They will be engaged community members and spread the word about the new recycling program'

Sien Van den broeke, an intern with the Town of Deer Lake, came up with the idea to recruit trash-talkers ahead of new garbage and recycling rules in the fall. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

The Town of Deer Lake is looking for people who aren't shy about talking trash.

A new recycling and garbage collection program launches Oct. 15, and the town wants to minimize any confusion, so it's training residents to know all the (dirty) details about what items go in what bins, and when, so they can help field questions from their neighbours.

"In Deer Lake, social ties are very strong in this community and on the west coast of N.L. We know that people will sometimes go with questions to their friends and family," says Sien Van den broeke, who works with the town's waste reduction and recycling program.  

"Rather than staying on the line and asking to speak with someone with the Town of Deer Lake or Western Regional Waste Management, residents of Deer Lake can now just go to their peers and neighbours and ask more information on the program."

Among the changes:

  • Garbage must be placed in clear bags in the trash bin.
  • Recycling must be placed in blue bags.
  • Recyclables and garbage will be picked up on alternating weeks.
  • Organic material must be placed in the green bin and will be picked up every week.
The trash-talkers will help people sort out what can be recycled, what is organic material for the green bin and what is straight up trash. (Colleen Connors/CBC)

The town has been compiling lists of all the frequently asked questions that people in Corner Brook — which launched a mandatory clear-garbage-bag-only program last month — and other areas have been asking related to the new Sort It program. 

Van den broeke said the composting program is brand new, and items to go in that bin include food scraps, tea bags and other organic materials. 

"We have a compost site set up already and the finished soil will be available for use in the community," she said. 

Van den broeke said ultimately having so-called trash talkers will hopefully boost participation rates.

"I know this is going to be a big change, but it's going to be really amazing," said Van den broeke.

Read more articles from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Colleen Connors and Corner Brook Morning Show