Wrong items in recycle bins cost Toronto $10 mn annually

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Hundreds of Torontonians are likely throwing things like batteries or other items that cannot and should not be put in recycling bins. This is costing the city big time and it explains why Toronto is now sending out inspectors to inspect blue bins and offenders will receive a warning of a “cost recovery fee” if it continues to happen.

Letters have gone out to city residents about this problem. For example, 52,000 tonnes of stuff that were found in blue bins last year had to be sorted and sent to landfills, this labor-intensive process cost the city was about $10 million.

The 10 to 15 per cent contamination represents a lot of money that is needlessly being wasted.

Going forward when inspectors find contamination, they will tag the bin and leave educational materials about what is and isn’t OK, which is fine for residents who care, but there are many who will simply toss away the educational material for recycling before even reading it.

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At some point incorrigible residents will be levied a cost-recovery fee of about $20, an estimate of what it would cost to remove contaminated material from the bin and when that starts, it could finally get the attention of residents.

It would be interesting to know the amount of contamination in recycling in the Peel Region and elsewhere because the problem could be just as bad as in Toronto if not worse. – CINEWS

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