Collection of recyclables on hold in some N.S. municipalities
'We just could not maintain the proper level of [physical] distancing at the sorting facility'
Some municipalities in Nova Scotia have suspended the collection of recyclables because of the pandemic, and a few are asking the province to allow the material to be temporarily placed in landfills.
"We just could not maintain the proper level of [physical] distancing at the sorting facility and we've also had challenges in getting the amount of personal protective equipment required for the staff," said Keith MacDonald, the CAO of Inverness County.
MacDonald said New Brunswick has already allowed some recyclables to go to landfills.
Inverness County as well as the towns of Stewiacke and Truro are advising residents to store the material for now.
Some material not being sorted
In Colchester County, blue-bag collection had been suspended, but resumed on April 8. The material is not being sorted, however, and is being stored temporarily.
"We can stockpile at our facility for a short period of time," said Colchester Mayor Christine Blair. "But we'll be filled in very short order."
Both Inverness and Colchester are awaiting permission from the Nova Scotia Department of Environment to send some of the recycling materials to their landfills. A spokesperson for the department said no decision has been made.
"We've asked municipalities to share details of their circumstances, and will give these requests careful consideration once we hear back," Rachel Boomer said by email.
Recycling programs in other municipalities continue uninterrupted. HRM officials said their contractors have put in place social distancing guidelines and enhanced hygiene practices.
Some landfills closed
Garbage collection and existing compost services have largely been unaffected. But if people are self-isolating or recovering from the virus at home they are being asked to double bag masks, gloves and tissues.
Some landfill sites have been closed to the public, and a number of municipalities, including the Cape Breton Regional Municipality and the town of Kentville, have postponed pickup of bulky items.
The rollout of a new green cart program for the town of Port Hawkesbury originally scheduled for April 15 has been postponed to the fall.
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