The piles of cardboard, plastic and aluminum that amass in the mud-rooms and garages of many Quesnel residents will probably get a little bit bigger in between recycling runs if non-controlled drop-off locations for recycling close in favour of a single fenced and manned depot.
The North Cariboo Joint Committee, which is made up of Northern Cariboo Regional District Directors and Quesnel City Council, received staff recommendations on Sept. 5 to pursue an expanded Recycle BC depot at the Quesnel landfill and close the current drop-off locations.
City Council later endorsed the recommendations at their meeting that evening.
Mayor Bob Simpson said Quesnel is fortunate to have the option to have a manned recycling depot.
“That didn’t have to be an option from Recycle BC for a community our size,” he said at the city council meeting on Sept. 5.
Quesnel is currently one of the last jurisdictions in B.C. to still have non-controlled recycling drop-off areas and the products they currently accrue are frequently far too contaminated to recycle, despite education campaigns by the city.
As of January 2018, China, which imports much of Canadian recyclable material, has reduced the level of contamination they will accept with recyclables.
That last dollop of peanut butter in a plastic jar that was never cleaned has the potential to ruin an entire load of recycling.
Recycle BC is still able to market its recyclables due to strict rules, such as requiring attended depots, which produce a cleaner product.
Establishing a full Recycle BC depot will ensure that the city and Cariboo Regional District recycling programs in Quesnel can continue.
A fenced/manned depot will greatly lessen the risk of such contamination and also afford Recycle BC the opportunity to further inform the public on acceptable recycling practices.
Currently the city landfill collects plastic bags, polystyrene foam and glass only on behalf of Recycle BC, the organization responsible for residential packaging and paper recycling in BC.
The rest of the recyclables collected at the Quesnel Landfill and satellite depots are processed and marketed by Northern Recycling Inc. (NRI) through its contract with the City of Quesnel.