In a news release, the Town said they are focused on reducing the contamination rate for recyclables collected in Ladysmith (File photo)

In a news release, the Town said they are focused on reducing the contamination rate for recyclables collected in Ladysmith (File photo)

Ladysmith curbside recycling contaminant levels remain high

The Town of Ladysmith and CVRD are getting the word out about what not to put in your recycling bins

Last week was waste reduction week in Ladysmith. The Town joined municipalities, First Nations, schools, businesses, and organizations across the country in an effort to reduce waste, conserve resources, and educated communities about sustainable living. Although the week is now over, the message is important to remember all year long.

In a news release, the Town said they are focused on reducing the contamination rate for recyclables collected in Ladysmith. They were informed by Recycle BC that the contamination rate of Ladysmith’s recycling stream continues to be high.

“Ladysmith residents can all work together to decrease the amount of contamination found in curbside recycling – helping to ensure consumer products are efficiently sorted by Recycle BC for processing and future uses,” Mayor Aaron Stone said.

The Town contracts curbside collection services. Although most items can be recycled, there are many that should not be placed in curbside bins.

Items like plastic bags, paper napkins, single use plastics and other forms of packaging should not be placed in curbside bins. Also, scrap metal and multi-laminates such as zipper-top pouches, granola packaging, frozen vegetable bags, and so on. All those items must be taken to a recycling depot to be recycled.

RELATED: Bear spray, bullets among hazards that have caused fires at B.C. recycling depots

“One of the things we see that’s a major problem, we call it ‘wish-cycling’, where people are in their homes and they come across an old pair of jeans, or a plastic toy, and they assume if they put it at the curb that it’s going to be recycled. Unfortunately that isn’t the case,” said Jason Adair, CVRD operation superintendent for solid waste and recycling.

When those materials find their way into curb side collection, they contaminate the recyclables, and end up in landfills. In the CVRD context, those contaminants are shipped to a landfill in Washington state. The tipping fee at that landfill is approximately $140 a tonne.

The core elements of curbside recycling are cardboard, paper, and plastics. Those items function like commodities, and processors have to find markets for their recycled products. Adair said that recycling in the CVRD generates very little revenue, and is funded primarily through taxes. When contaminants find their way into the system, it degrades the value even further.

RELATED: Bring it to the curb… properly

To cut down on curbside contaminants, the CVRD created a Recylopedia to educate residents on how to recycle and dispose of certain items. They also have an app called Cowichan Recycles that ties into the Recyclopedia for people to use directly on their phone. For people who are less tech savvy, the CVRD also created a recycling hotline: 250-746-2540 to answer all recycling questions.

Adair said that the CVRD has prioritized recycling in the community. Both Peerless Recycling Centre and Bings Creek accept recyclable materials with no user fee.

“The Cowichan Valley has the highest recycling diversion in the province. Our residents are very motivated. The CVRD board is highly motivated,” Adair said. “The resources are there for people to use, and there’s been a lot of investment to make it as easy as possible for people.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue will be lit up until January 15. (Cole Schisler photo)
Ladysmith’s 1st Avenue all aglow

Although the tradition Light Up this year was cancelled, folks can still enjoy the holiday lights

The first $300 shopping spree winner, Carol Travis. (Cole Schisler photo)
LDBA and Ladysmith Credit Union sponsor local shopping sprees

Don’t miss your chance to win a $300 local shopping spree

Bob Higgins pulls the gate across on the elevator built inside his home. (Photo by Don Bodger)
Crofton man’s expertise earns international award with home-built elevator

Experience put to use in winning contest entry for furniture and home projects

Nanaimo Airport’s terminal building. (File photo)
Nanaimo Airport faces steep decline in passenger counts

Nanaimo Airport CEO Dave Devana says it will take years to return to 2019 levels

Bhagwan Mayer. (Photo submitted)
Organizer of transporting the World’s Largest Hockey Stick to Cowichan remembered

Bhagwan Mayer a “hard-working fellow who cared about his community.”

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, Nov. 23, 2020. (B.C. government)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 887 new cases

Another 13 deaths, ties the highest three days ago

Police in Nanaimo are looking for a suspect who wore a black-and-white striped hoodie and rode a yellow mountain bike when he allegedly stole three children’s backpacks from a daycare facility. (Photo submitted)
VIDEO: Thief steals children’s backpacks from daycare in Nanaimo

Suspect rode a yellow mountain bike and made off with backpacks hanging on fence

Arthur Topham has been sentenced to one month of house arrest and three years of probation after breaching the terms of his probation. Topham was convicted of promoting hate against Jewish people in 2015. (Photo submitted)
Quesnel man convicted for anti-Semitic website sentenced to house arrest for probation breach

Arthur Topham was convicted of breaching probation following his 2017 sentence for promoting hatred

Langley School District's board office. (Langley Advance Times files)
‘Sick Out’ aims to pressure B.C. schools over masks, class sizes

Parents from Langley and Surrey are worried about COVID safety in classrooms

The Klahoose First Nation village on Cortes Island is under lockdown until further notice due to a positive COVID-19 test. Photo courtesy Kevin Peacey.
Cortes Island First Nation community locked down due to positive COVID-19 test

Klahoose First Nation has had one positive test, one other potential case

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
B.C. mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby now at home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

Gracie couldn’t stop nursing from her previous owner’s goats which was problematic given the goats were trying to be dried out to breed. Gracie now lives at A Home for Hooves. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)
Cowichan animal sanctuary gets international accreditation

A Home for Hooves farm sanctuary accredited by the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries

North Island-Powell River MP Rachel Blaney has spoken out about some veterans losing their Dimished Earning Capacity income. (Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror photo)
Blaney pens letter to minister about veteran supports

Concerned about veterans losing some income

Most Read