Prince Albert City Council ponders a fine for throwing away recyclables

Prince Albert City Council ponders a fine for throwing away recyclables

Recyclables are an avoidable blight on the city’s landfill site, Prince Albert sanitation manager Dale Rankel told the city’s elected officials on Monday.

“We’re filling a really expensive space in the landfill with material that just doesn’t have to be there,” he summarized, noting that all too often, recyclables are being thrown into the garbage.

At Monday’s executive committee meeting of council, Rankel proposed a $100 fine for members of the public whose garbage is at least 10 per cent cardboard. Commercial haulers would pay an additional $300 for throwing out loads of garbage whose volume is 10 per cent or more cardboard.

In 2013, the city shifted to single-stream recycling, wherein most recyclables can now be placed in blue bins.Coun. Martin Ring played a central role in bringing single-stream recycling to Prince Albert, and in the subsequent years has urged for greater public education about recycling.

There are still lots of misconceptions, he shared on Monday, noting that many people still believe that they have to strip cardboard of staples and tape before they can be recycled. Not true, he said.

“That’s a big message that we have to put out to people,” he urged. “It doesn’t have to be 100 per cent clean.”

As the public becomes more aware of what is and what is not recyclable, residents will see their blue bins fill up more quickly than their garbage bins, Rankel said.

“When you’re recycling properly (the city) should be picking up recycling twice a week, not garbage,” he said. “Once we get to that point we’re going to have to adjust the way that we pick up recycling and waste in the city, and we’ll make those adjustments as we go.”

Rankel’s proposed fines for those who deposit cardboard at the landfill will be up for additional city council debate at a future meeting.

Original article - Prince Albert Daily Herald