Strange finds in city recycling includes animal carcass

Workers at Eco-Depot found a fake Christmas tree in among the rest of the recycling collected. Photo by the City of Fort St. John, Twitter (@fortstjohn)

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — The City is reminding residents that certain items don’t belong in their blue recycling bins after workers made some interesting discoveries this week, including a fake Christmas tree, yard waste, and even parts of what was believed to be a deer.

“We’re getting plastics that aren’t recyclable, we’re getting metal that is recyclable but can’t go in the blue bin, we’re getting electronics thrown in the blue bin,” said Julie Rogers, a spokesperson for the City of Fort St. John.

“Electronics are recyclable, but you have to take it to Eco-Depot.”

Two workers at the Eco-Depot sift through everything that is collected to ensure that nothing is contaminated, and some of it can be dangerous for them to interact with. Rogers said shards of glass, mercury from electronics and hazardous material such as the carcass workers found are of particular concern.

“We’d really like for them to not have to come in contact with hazardous waste,” she added.

To help categorize waste the right away, Rogers says residents can look at the Waste Wizard — a search function that can tell people where to take just about any item.

If it’s not on the Waste Wizard, she says there is a function that allows people to request that item be added, and the City will look into how to dispose of that item and update the app with that information.

While the City of Fort St. John doesn’t fine residents for improperly disposing of their waste, other jurisdictions do in certain cases. In 2015, when the Greater Vancouver region brought compost collection into the works, cities started handing out fines when food was found in garbage bins.

Rogers says it’s likely that yard waste in the recycling bins as the result of spring arriving in the Peace, with snow having melted and homeowners start cleaning up their yards.

For those cases, NEAT will be collecting yard waste in brown bags. The bags can be brought to the site of the former visitor’s centre for pick up, between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. on May 7.

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