Throwing the wrong things into recycling bins could get expensive

Lake Country District Council finalizing bylaw allowing fines to be imposed.

Be careful what you place in your recycling bin is the message from Lake Country District Council.

At the council meeting last week, councillors voted in favour of bylaws that will bring the district in line with other regional municipalities in regards to what can be recycled in the residential curbside waste program.

Once final reading of the bylaw has passed council, fines will be possible for people who try to recycle items that cannot be safely accepted by the system.

Certain types of items including glass, uncleaned food containers and styrofoam contaminate the recycling received at the regional station. That means the quality of the recycling is diminished and it costs more to process the materials in staff time at the depot.  It also means less material is available to be sold in the recycling market place.

Councillors Penny Gambell and Barbara Leamont were concerned that residents might not know which materials were banned from recycling. This was the first year the waste calendars/information booklets were not distributed to all residents in the Central Okanagan, in a bid to cut costs.

The booklets are available at the District of Lake Country offices for residents who prefer to have a printed copy. A complete listing of materials not suitable for recycling can be found on the Regional District of Central Okanagan website,

Several solutions to get the message out to residents were brought up in council discussion, including having CORD staff attend meet and greet sessions to explain what is allowed to be recycled.

There is still no waste solution for batteries and chemicals in Lake Country, and currently such items must be taken into The Battery Doctor in Kelowna.

The possibility of future toxic household waste round-ups was discussed.