DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – The City of Dawson Creek wants to reduce the contaminants found in recycling bins.

The program says that contaminated recycling can present health and safety concerns for collection and post-collection staff.

Some hazardous materials can be extremely dangerous and have caused fires in processing facilities in B.C., according to the city.

They mention that while some material may be recyclable, it has to be very clean and collected separately from other materials. Things like plastic bags, foam packaging and corrugated cardboard need to be taken to a drop-off depot to be recycled.

The city notes that people may be subject to a fine depending on the severity of contamination, adding, “while we know mistakes happen, it is important to do your part in reducing contamination to avoid warnings or fines.”

Earlier this year, the city announced a partnership with Recycle BC to begin on April 1st to reduce contamination to three per cent or less per week.

In 2019, British Columbia’s contamination rate was at around 6.5 per cent, but Dawson Creek has seen an average of 10 to 20 per cent contamination in the last few years.

By investing in regular and increased educational, monitoring and enforcement measures, the city hopes to meet its goal of reducing contamination to three per cent.

The city will be hiring two part-time auditors for curbside collection monitoring. Collection trucks will have video recording devices to monitor what’s going on in the truck, enabling the city to track warnings and fines more closely.

For more information, click here or download the City of Dawson Creek app.

In October 2021, the City of Fort St. John launched an awareness campaign to hopefully lead to less garbage being recycled.