As a means of educating residents on proper practices, the staff of Shkopich Enviro are thoroughly checking blue bins in Meadow Lake, starting this week.
President Layne Shkopich said it is a practice the staff performs three to four times a year as the city’s service provider.
“These [audits] assists in identifying what unacceptable items are being placed in the bins,” Shkopich said. “Our main goal is to educate the public on responsible recycling.”
On their routes, staff members inspect the containers by hand. If too many contaminated items are found, the bin is not brought back to the company’s facility, and a note is left asking the resident to sort the materials better. If not fixed the next time around, the city’s bylaw department will then issue tickets.
Some of the items seen during this week’s audit include a great deal of garbage, from diapers to food waste, to plastic bags and cellophane which Shkopich Enviro recently stopped accepting. As of Wednesday this week, nearly 800 bins were checked and over 75 bins contained prohibited items.
Contamination has been an ongoing problem in the area. If contaminated loads become a recurring issue, Shkopich could be financially penalized by their buyer, which could eventually trickle down to the end users of the service — the city’s taxpayers.
Shkopich said with these recent changes with plastics, along with the fact Meadow Lake’s recycling program is single-stream, misunderstanding can occur.
“We’re finding a lot of confusion,” he said. “When they hear no plastics, they’re thinking the recyclable plastic containers with the numbers one through seven are not accepted as well, which is not the case.”
He said the bylaw department has been a phenomenal help to his staff this week. Ultimately, he’s hoping the entire process will have a positive impact on the community.
“We’re not out to try and make enemies with the public,” Shkopich said. “We’re publicly driven, but in order for things to work, we need the public’s support and understanding.”
A complete list of what is accepted in blue bins is available on the City of Meadow Lake website.
On Twitter @ReporterKath
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