An example of an envelope and stickers that the City of Terrace is placing on contaminated recycle carts, starting Aug. 31. The envelopes may use one or more of the stickers pictured. (City of Terrace/Facebook)

An example of an envelope and stickers that the City of Terrace is placing on contaminated recycle carts, starting Aug. 31. The envelopes may use one or more of the stickers pictured. (City of Terrace/Facebook)

City of Terrace pre-screening recycle carts this week

Recycle BC audit found contamination rate at 13.5 per cent in Terrace, double the provincial average

The City of Terrace is inspecting recycle carts before collection this week in an effort to reduce contamination levels.

Employees in pickup trucks are pre-screening recyclables before the collection truck arrives. Carts that are found to be contaminated will be left with an envelope containing Curbside Collection Guidelines and stickers that indicate that the cart is contaminated.

Carts with stickers on them will not be collected.

“In the following weeks, collector truck operators will continue pre-screening until consistent proper sorting practices are observed,” the city stated on its website.

The move by the city is a response to a July audit from Recycle BC, which takes and sorts local materials. That audit found a contamination rate of 13.5 per cent, far in excess of the three per cent maximum set by the organization and double the provincial average. It’s the fifth audit in a row to register a contamination rate increase.

A consistent failure to meet contamination targets could result in fines of $2,500 per load sent out for sorting to a maximum of $60,000 per year.

The City of Terrace has not been fined by Recycle BC, but it has been tasked with creating a plan to address contamination.

The city last toughened its recycling program in 2018 when one audit returned a contamination rate of 20 per cent. It lowered the contamination rate by screening carts before they were dumped into collection trucks, published more information about what to do and what not to do and boosted enforcement.

Similar measures started to roll-out in August, including targeting repeat offenders and providing more detailed information to households found to have contaminated carts.

People can learn more about what constitutes contamination and proper recycling procedures by visiting the Recycle BC website, or using the City of Terrace Recycle Coach webpage or app.

— With files from Rod Link

READ MORE: City of Terrace clamping down on bad residential recyclers