The Regional District of the East Kootenay’s Yellow Bin Recycling Program has been renewed for another five years.

“We have had the yellow bin program for the last 20 years and the contract generally is signed in five-year increments. We are pleased to have reached another five-year agreement with our contractor Green For Life to continue with this service,” explains RDEK Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson. “There are over 700 yellow bins located throughout the region and all of the materials collected in the yellow bins are sorted in Cranbrook and sold to market.”

The yellow bins and curbside recycling programs in Invermere and Fernie accept only paper, cardboard, tin/aluminum cans, grocery/shopping bags and household plastics #1-#6. Styrofoam is not accepted in the bins even though it is a type of #6 plastic.

“The renewal of the yellow bin contract maintains this historical recycling option for businesses, the public and rural communities so people will continue to be able to access this service as they always have,” says Paterson. “Having said that, throughout our recent Solid Waste Management Plan Review, we heard strong support for expanded recycling options at the most affordable cost. We are now working hard to create those expanded opportunities through the establishment of dedicated Recycle BC Depots.”

The Recycle BC Depots are totally separate from the Yellow Bin Program and accept only residentially generated packaging. They accept all the same materials as the yellow bins, along with dozens more, including plastic containers, unmarked plastics packaging, sytrofoam, soup tetrapaks, and foil roasters. In addition to accepting over 76 additional products, the RDEK gets paid per tonne of recyclables it collects at its Recycle BC Depots. By contrast, the Yellow Bin Program is funded by taxes and the RDEK has to pay per tonne recycled.

“We recently opened Recycle BC Depots at the Columbia Valley Landfill and Kimberley Transfer Station and are really pleased with the public’s response and participation at these sites. We are scheduled to open a Recycle BC Depot at the Cranbrook Transfer Station next month and at the Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford Transfer Stations in early 2020,” adds Paterson. “Since the start of the Program, yellow bins have been located at businesses and public institutions like schools. They will continue to remain in these locations. There will be some slight changes to a few of the yellow bin locations as we transition to the Recycle BC Depots and we will continue to keep the public informed as we move through that process.”

To learn more, visit the recycling page on www.rdek.bc.ca.

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