Incentive may push residents to watch waste: RDKB

Trail’s concern that its recycling program hasn’t significantly reduced the amount of garbage collected has the regional district proposing an incentive program.

Trail residents

still putting out

two bags of

garbage a week

Trail’s concern that its recycling program hasn’t significantly reduced the amount of garbage collected has the regional district proposing an incentive program.

“The problem is that as long as two cans of garbage are collected, many people will put out two cans of garbage regardless of the availability of a recycling program,” explained Alan Stanley, director of environmental services, in a report to council.

“Were the City of Trail to implement an incentive system, it would reward those already putting out only one can and would give people who put their recyclables into their garbage a financial incentive to more closely monitor their waste.”

In 2010, Trail recycling routes generated about 261,900 kilograms of recyclables compared to 255,000 kg in 2009 – an increase of aroung 2.7 per cent. Along with this increase in recycling was a slight decrease from the 1,225 tonnes of waste collected in 2009, though the changes were not notable.

Trail Mayor Dieter Bogs said he has noticed an improvement in Glenmerry, where he lives.

“People have really caught on to recycling in that neck of the woods,” he said at Monday night’s council meeting.

In fact, the last analysis done in 2008 showed that Glenmerry had the most residents participating in

the recycling collection program – with 81 per cent of Glenmerry West and 72 per cent of Glenmerry East taking part – while Miral Heights sat in the middle with 65 per cent and West Trail lowered out the scale with 42 per cent.

“We are being encouraged on a frequent basis to reduce two cans to one,” said councillor Al Graham. “We’ve always avoided doing this but it’s valid to keep that in mind.”

Some residents may opt out of curbside collection completely and utilize the McKelvey Creek recycling depot, where there has been an increase of 27 per cent use from 2009 to 2010.

While the regional district planned to create a new depot at the landfill entrance, this was cancelled for many reasons including the financial uncertainty surrounding user-fee revenue.

In addition, councillor Fred Romano has raised safety concerns around the entrance to the landfill, which would prevent a recycling depot project unless there was an opportunity to reconfigure the depot as part of the entrance realignment construction, noted Stanley.

While recycling has yet to impact waste, Stanley believes in another program that’s being looked at in the Boundary region.

“Given that organics comprise such a large portion of the waste stream, and that diversion rates for many programs have plateaued, organics diversion is considered the best next step for local government waste-diversion efforts,” he said, referring to a study done in 2005 that shows that 40 to 50 per cent of garbage contents are compostable organic materials.

Though residents participate in backyard composting, he said some materials like food scraps, grease and animal bones are not recommended.

The regional district is working toward a source-organics collection program, which would be integrated with recycling collection and residual waste collection in electoral areas C and D and the City of Grand Forks.

“The partnering and operational experience that would be gained from a Boundary organics diversion program could be applied to the east sub-region,” said Stanley.