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Canada Edmonton officials leaving iconic blue box at the curb Monday, recycling must be bagged

14:41  23 november  2020
14:41  23 november  2020 Source:   edmontonjournal.com

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A program to assist Edmonton residents with mobility challenges who do not have someone to take their waste to the curb or back lane for them. The collector will pick up the same materials that are collected from all households and the same regulations will apply. Recycling must be in blue bags

Blue Bag Recycling . Garbage cans must hold less than 100 litres (26 gallons). Garbage cans must have fixed handles (that do not move or swivel). Please do not place waste out in plastic grocery bags . Put them in a larger garbage bag for collection.

It’s an Edmonton institution that will be no more.

Blue boxes will no longer be picked up by City of Edmonton recycling collectors starting Monday. Residents will need to put materials in blue bags for collection. © Provided by Edmonton Journal Blue boxes will no longer be picked up by City of Edmonton recycling collectors starting Monday. Residents will need to put materials in blue bags for collection.

City officials say blue boxes — once a well-known symbol of a recycling program Edmonton residents were proud of — will no longer be emptied as of Monday.

Residents will now need to buy special, single-use plastic bags in order to set out their paper, plastic and glass items for pickup. It follows a bylaw change first made in 1999, but only being enforced now.

“Collecting recyclables in blue bags is safer and more efficient for our collectors,” said city spokeswoman Anna Kravchinsky.

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You must place recyclables at the curb between 4 PM and midnight on the evening before your scheduled Bins must be secured with a tight-fitting lid. The City does not give away green recycling bins. Place glass in clear, untinted bags or blue -labeled recycling bins secured with a tight-fitting lid.

“It eliminates the need for our staff to return the blue box to the curb and prevents workplace injuries,” she added, saying the change will also increase the quality of recyclable materials.

“Recyclables in blue boxes are exposed to the elements, which reduces their quality and creates more litter if the material becomes wind-borne. Wet materials are also harder to separate at our recycling sorting facility and blue bags ensure that the materials residents work so hard to sort can be properly sorted and recycled.”

Kravchinsky said there won’t be a fine associated with the city’s clampdown on blue boxes. The recycling simply won’t be picked up. The small portion of residents still using blue boxes were sent notices to inform them of the change recently.

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Clear bags that have large amounts of recyclable material may not be collected. Hint: Use fewer bags by emptying your household waste baskets directly into 2-piece toilets must be separated when set out at the curb . The tank must be detached from the bowl for the health and safety of the collectors.

It’s frustrating, said Elijah Grisdale, a resident of the Silverberry neighbourhood who got one of the notices.

“Everyone has to go out now, buy garbage bags and support the Glad corporation,” he said. His house likely needs two bags a week, which is more than 100 per year. When you think of every house in Edmonton doing that, he said, “it doesn’t make any sense.”

Waste Free Edmonton co-founder Sean Stepchuk said this change amplifies the need for a recycling cart. These have lids, wheels and can be picked up by a robotic arm on the side of a waste or recycling truck.

Edmonton residents will get carts for garbage and organic compostable material next year. But the current plan doesn’t include a recycling cart because the city didn’t want to set volume limits or add that extra cost to ratepayers.

 Workers deliver new waste carts in the Ellerslie neighbourhood as part of a waste pilot project in April 2019. Ian Kucerak/Postmedia Workers deliver new waste carts in the Ellerslie neighbourhood as part of a waste pilot project in April 2019. Ian Kucerak/Postmedia

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has said the federal government will ban single-use plastics such as bags, straws and cutlery as early as next year.

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Blue Box Recycling Guide Here's how to use the City's Blue Box program to recycle at home. Sort recyclable materials using the Mixed Paper Recycling Bag Place at the curbside with your garbage container before 7:30 a . m . on collection day, but no earlier than 8:00 p.m. the night before. If there's a

Blue box recycling must be placed at the curb no later than 7 a . m . on the day of collection and no earlier than 6 p.m. on the night preceding collection. If recycling has not been collected it must be removed from the curb on the collection day. All soiled recyclable materials (such as tubs containing

Forcing residents to buy and use blue bags for recycling is inconsistent with messaging on single-use plastics and diverting waste, Stepchuk said.

“We don’t like the fact that the system … requires someone to purchase new single-use plastic bags,” he said. They might be recycled, or not, depending on whether the city is able recover the bags from the mix of material and find a market for that particular type of plastic at the time.

“I like to think that down the road — after what will hopefully be a successful rollout of the black and the green carts — the blue carts will be considered and it’ll just be a little delayed compared to the rollout of the other carts.”

Ward 8 Coun. Ben Henderson, chairman of council’s utility committee, said he believes the shift will make the cart rollout and automated pickup easier, especially since there will soon be two large carts at the bottom of driveways. That limits space.

As to why the bylaw wasn’t enforced for the past 21 years, Henderson said the city didn’t want to be too strict on people willing to recycle.

“The whole point with recycling is to make it as easy and as convenient as possible for people,” he said. “We wanted to encourage people to recycle and that’s always been our Number 1 priority.”

Residents on the east side of the city can expect to start receiving their new waste carts in March at the start of the cart rollout. It will take place over six phases until August when all carts are expected to be delivered.

duscook@postmedia.com

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