The recycling bins located in the Revelstoke Forum parking lot will be relocated to the Revelstoke Bottle Depot across from Rona Revelstoke on Nov. 21.
CSRD Waste Reduction Facilitator Carmen Fennell explained the change came at the city’s request. “The bins are so well used it creates a lot of traffic. The city felt it would be better to keep this flow of traffic away from students. Also, the bin location makes it a little more difficult for snow removal. We understand their concerns and we’re happy to oblige.”
The new Revelstoke Secondary School has been finished and the new traffic system and parking area around the school are almost done, so the changes are being made.
Fennell said they searched for a more central location, but ran into zoning issues because there weren’t that many central spots that had appropriate commercial zoning. And not many commercial property owners want big recycling bins to be their calling card.
Revelstoke Bottle Depot operator Harmandeep Dhanoa welcomed the bins. “It’s a good idea to do a one-stop drop.”
Fennell explained the issue with overflowing bins should be alleviated at the new location. Currently, the bins are checked once a day, and if full, a truck is dispatched. That truck is contractually obligated to be there within 24 hours. The problem, says Fennell, is commercial users coming and dumping cube-vans full of recycling. It doesn’t get noticed for a day, creating a huge mess.
At the new location, Dhanoa will be available to monitor the bins and spot the big loads and get fresh bins ordered sooner. She said Dhanoa put an emphasis on making sure the bins would be clean and neat. The bins will be available 24-hours a day. Also, the bins will be located on blacktop.
By the way, Fennell said commercial users are entitled to use the bins. “We have nothing preventing any business from coming in and using those bins for recycling,” she said. However, she noted recyclers pay for cardboard and businesses that generate lots of it may be missing out on a revenue stream.
Of course, curbside recycling is scheduled to commence in January in Revelstoke. Every residence that currently has curbside garbage pickup will now have curbside recycling. Everyone else (such as residents of apartments) will have to use the bins. Fennell admits it would have been a bit neater to have moved the bins in January, but the request came from the city due to safety issues. In addition, glass will not be accepted in the curbside recycling bins, so all residents will have to haul their glass to the bottle depot.
I also asked Fennell about access to the bins for those with mobility issues. Currently, the holes are very high up. She said they had explored ramps or pull-down steps, but the CSRD board voted that down due to liability and maintenance issues, especially in snowy or icy conditions.
Fennell said in Salmon Arm there was a 30 per cent reduction in the use of the big recycling bins once curbside recycling started there. Circumstances vary, but Revelstoke could anticipate a similar drop.
For those of you thinking of slipping your glass recycling into regular garbage bags, you might want to think twice. Fennell said under the new system, the city delivers the garbage to the CSRD. If the garbage is contaminated with recycling, they will charge the city a steep penalty. This is designed to create an incentive for the city to force recycling compliance. Expect the garbage police.
The city’s bylaw enforcement department has already shown they have the stomach for it. A couple of weeks ago, a young mother came in to complain that a bylaw enforcement officer threatened her with a $500 fine for garbage dumping at the recycling bins. She’s adamant it was a bag full of recycling, not garbage. She went there to recycle, but the bins were overflowing, so she left the bag next to the bins. The officer went through it and found her name on a “baby bonus” document and snapped a picture of it with his cell phone camera. Go pick up the garbage right now or face a $500 fine, he told her. Of course, she disputes that it was garbage. Either way, it could be a sign of things to come for those who aren’t compliant with the new recycling system coming in 2012.