Recycling changes clarified by Municipality, collection company
Mike Lawrence - Staff Writer
For the past several months Sioux Lookout residents have been noticing some changes to their recycling routines, leading to some confusion on what will and will not be accepted by the collection crew on recycling day. To that end, the Municipality of Sioux Lookout has issued a media release to assist residents who are unsure of what the existing requirements for recycling collection are.
In the release, dated December 13, The Municipality states “The Municipality of Sioux Lookout has been receiving an increase in the number of comments and complaints about recycling pickup in recent weeks. The rules for what items can be put in your Blue Box, the containers B&M Delivery will accept recyclable items in, and how cardboard is bundled for pickup have not changed but are being more strictly enforced.” The release continues, “One major issue lately has been glass in the recycle bins. Glass is not collected for recycling in Sioux Lookout. If glass is found in your Blue Box, crews will not sort it out – the entire Blue Box will be left behind.”
Another area of confusion has been the requirements for collection of cardboard. In the past many have put their broken-down cardboard at the curb in another cardboard box, but as it turns out, it has always been a requirement that cardboard be in bundles or Blue Boxes for collection, a requirement that has recently been more strictly enforced. As the release explains, cardboard will be accepted in the following ways: Bundles that weight less than 33lbs and are less than 39”x39” (1m x 1m) or broken down and placed inside Blue Boxes marked with a white recycle logo. Acceptable Blue Boxes include any blue bin marked with a white recycle logo, blue Rubbermaid totes with a recycle logo sticker, blue garbage can style bins with a recycle logo sticker, and other blue recycling containers in good working condition which feature a white recycle logo.
As the release goes on to explain, “Recycle logo stickers to mark your bins and totes as recycling containers are available to all residents, free of charge, from the Public Works Department, 41 Fifth Avenue, from 8:00 a.m. until noon and 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. weekdays, excluding statutory holidays. Any bins left out without the white recycle logo (including the free recycling stickers) will not be collected by B&M Delivery.” Of note is that B&M Delivery will not be responsible for damages to any containers not designed for Blue Box use, as other plastic totes may not be designed for the impacts of cold weather use.
As Norman Balla of B&M Delivery explains, they can only collect what the City of Dryden Landfill will accept. Balla clarifies, “In regard to the collection of recycling and the manner recycling is collected, Sioux Lookout and Dryden are equal. What happens is that the recycling we manage is dropped off at the City of Dryden Landfill. The City of Dryden is mandated by their contractor, who they take their recycling to. So that’s where all the rules come down from. What ends up happening, is we’re like the watchdogs. If we start allowing oil cans or glass into the recycling, then when it goes into the City of Dryden’s trailer and it gets shipped out, the contractor who is taking the City of Dryden’s recycling says ‘Hey, you’ve got a lot of contamination here, instead of paying $140 a ton, you are going to pay more,’ which levies more charges onto the city.”
As for only having recycling in a Blue Box, Balla says it’s about doing the collection as quickly and safely as possible, stating, “It boils down to efficiency and safety. Especially on the Sioux Lookout highway and a few other spots where there’s a lot of traffic. These teams are out there sometimes in a precarious position. If you’ve got a recycling truck going down a side road and we are driving by a place with a brown bin, because it’s not a (Blue Box) recycling bin, and then we see there’s recycling in it as we go by…. we can’t just hammer on the brakes. When we see these blue bins, we know that it’s recycling, and now you can start slowing down to pick it up. If we have to stop at every household to see if its recycling because it’s in (different colored boxes), time is money. You want to get this done as quickly as possible as efficiently as possible. Blue is designated for recycling.”
As part of the release, the Municipality provided this reminder of materials that can be left out for Blue Box collection:
- Plastics (including lids) stamped 1 through 7, washed or rinsed with caps/lids removed
- Steel or tin cans, washed or rinsed with no food residue
- Aluminum cans, rinsed
- Polycoat and TetraPak containers (milk/juice cartons) rinsed
- Newspapers, inserts and flyers
- Household paper and envelopes
- Shredded paper, in clear bags
- Magazines, phone books, and books, hard covers removed
- Cardboard boxes, flattened (bundles and tied if not inside Blue Box)
- Boxboard (cereal/cracker/tissue/etc. boxes), flattened
- Cardboard egg cartons and paper tubes
- Disposable flowerpots
Any items not listed above should not be placed in Blue Boxes and could result in your Blue Box not being collected that week. Also of note, empty oil containers will not be accepted, even if stamped with recycling numbers 1 through 7, rinsed or not.
The Municipality encourages residents with recycling pick-up issues to reach out to B&M Delivery at (807) 223-3298.