Landfilled waste in the city continued to pile up in 2018, while the amount of curbside recycling collected decreased.
In 2018, 65,485 tonnes of waste was landfilled, compared to 63,950 tonnes in 2017 and 58,680 tonnes in 2016. Additionally, 4,680 tonnes of curb-side recycling was collected in 2018, compared to 6,145 tonnes in 2017 and 6,260 tonnes in 2016.
City civic operations director Jen Fretz said changes to Recycle BC and clamping down on contamination impacted recycling last year.
“We’re working daily with residents and property owners to try to make sure that people understand what it means when they just haphazardly throw something into their recycling cart or bin that doesn’t belong there,” she said.
“It’s not a matter of out of sight, out of mind, I’ve done my part, I’ve recycled.
“Unfortunately, in most cases, that material ends up going to the landfill. We do have an education campaign that’s ongoing, but we also hope to be coming before council in 2019, 2020 with respect to both commercial recycling as well as the potential for organics diversion at the curb, which will increase our overall diversion numbers and reduce the landfilled volume.”
The city’s civic operations year in review report notes “some” contaminated recycling bins were tipped as garbage. Fretz could not say, however, how many ended up in the landfill.
The rate of tonnes per person landfilled increased only slightly, to .694 in 2018, compared to .693 in 2017 and .642 in 2016.
The city notes the city’s population rose by about 550 residents in 2018 over 2017.
For those who do not know which items can and cannot be recycled curbside, the city’s waste-wise app allows residents to search items. It can be found online here: https://www.kamloops.ca/city-services/recycling-garbage/waste-wise-kamloops-app.
Additionally, the city offers a waste-sorting game at kamloopsbc.recycle.game.
In 2018, more than 32,000 items were searched, with plastic bags, Styrofoam and glass the top-searched items, none of which can be recycled curb-side. The most improperly sorted items were chip bags, styrofoam packaging and plastic cutlery, none of which are not accepted.