The Thompson-Nicola Regional District and Recycle BC are sounding the alarm over the rising number of explosive and hazardous materials residents are placing in the province’s residential packaging and paper recycling bins.
B.C.’s major recycling collectors and processors have seen seven fires in 2019, with several of them having endangered lives and forced the temporary closure of facilities.
“Hazardous materials present a very real danger for workers in BC’s recycling industry. They can cause explosions and fires and most of these incidents are caused by residents placing items such as lithium-ion batteries and propane or butane canisters into the residential recycling,” said David Lefebvre, director of public affairs for Recycle BC.
“Earlier this month, a resident put 58 rounds of live ammunition into their recycling. We need people to think before they put something that is potentially explosive and deadly into a recycling bin.”
Recycle BC audits of materials in 2019 found two-thirds of container loads had hazardous materials present, a 47 per cent increase over the last five years. Hazardous materials include:
• Butane and propane canisters;
• Batteries (especially lithium-ion
• Compressed gases;
• Bear spray.
To find out where to dispose of hazardous materials, call 1-800-667-4321.