The Regional District of East Kootenay will be renewing their yellow bin recycling program for another five years, they announced in a press release this week.
Back in September of this year, there was some concern among the business community in Kimberley that the program might not be renewed in contract negotiations.
At that time, Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson explained that the contract was due to expire at the end of 2019, so the board was working on a new agreement.
“We have had the yellow bin program for the last 20 years and the contract generally is signed in five-year increments. We are pleased to have reached another five-year agreement with our contractor Green For Life to continue with this service,” Paterson explained in the press release. “There are over 700 yellow bins located throughout the region and all of the materials collected in the yellow bins are sorted in Cranbrook and sold to market.”
The yellow bins and curbside recycling programs in Invermere and Fernie accept only paper, cardboard, tin/aluminum cans, grocery/shopping bags and household plastics #1-#6. Styrofoam is not accepted in the bins even though it is a type of #6 plastic.
“The renewal of the yellow bin contract maintains this historical recycling option for businesses, the public and rural communities so people will continue to be able to access this service as they always have,” said Paterson. “Having said that, throughout our recent Solid Waste Management Plan Review, we heard strong support for expanded recycling options at the most affordable cost. We are now working hard to create those expanded opportunities through the establishment of dedicated Recycle BC Depots.”
Kimberley’s Recycle BC Depot opened up this past March at the Kimberley Transfer Station. It is a separate program from the yellow bin program, and has many more options for recycling. The Recycle BC Deopts only accept residentially generated packaging.
They accept all of the same materials as yellow bins, along with plastic containers, unmarked plastics packaging, styrofoam, soup tetrapacks, and foil roasters. In addition to accepting over 76 more products, the RDEK gets paid per tonne of recyclable materials it collects at these depots. The yellow bin program is funded by taxes and the RDEK has to pay per tonne recycled.
“We recently opened Recycle BC Depots at the Columbia Valley Landfill and Kimberley Transfer Station and are really pleased with the public’s response and participation at these sites. We are scheduled to open a Recycle BC Depot at the Cranbrook Transfer Station next month and at the Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford Transfer Stations in early 2020,” adds Paterson. “Since the start of the Program, yellow bins have been located at businesses and public institutions like schools. They will continue to remain in these locations. There will be some slight changes to a few of the yellow bin locations as we transition to the Recycle BC Depots and we will continue to keep the public informed as we move through that process.”
To learn more about what can be recycled and where, visit the recycling page on the RDEK’s website at www.rdek.bc.ca.