City aims to clean up recycling act

City teams will be conducting random audits of residential Blue Box recycling and providing residents with recycling tips

If you toss a glass jar in your Blue Box or fail to adaquetly clean out that peanut butter container, you may be getting a visit from the City of Richmond.

Starting this week, city teams will be conducting random audits of residential Blue Box and Blue Cart recycling and providing residents with recycling tips to help promote improved understanding of how to recycle materials correctly.

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The reason, in part, is revenue, according to the city.

The city makes money off recycled materials, but not if they’re “contaminate.”

Contamination occurs when non-recyclables or different types of recycling such as paper, plastic and glass are mixed together.

“The key to recycling is that the better the quality, the higher the value for these materials and the easier they are to sell. It’s more difficult to find buyers to purchase recycling that’s contaminated,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. Moreover, the more money the city can sell its recyclibles for, the less residents have to pay in utility fees.

“Recycling generates revenue which goes back into the program to help keep City utility fees down for residents,” notes a city press release.

City teams will be identifying areas where there are consistent problems with recycling quality. These on-site checks will take place through the fall in residential neighbourhoods with curbside collection, as well as multi-family complexes with centralized collection.

If the city continues to find problems with recycling quality following communication to residents and alert notices, the city may not collect the bins with non-recyclable or contaminated items.

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