A new bylaw in the Thompson-Nicola Regional District has made recycling cardboard mandatory.
The mandatory recyclable material bylaw was introduced in 2021 and will be phased in throughout the rest of 2022. The bylaw is applicable at all solid waste disposal facilities in the TNRD and in Kamloops.
Under the new bylaw, corrugated cardboard is designated as “mandatory recyclable material”, meaning that the item must be recycled; it cannot go to the landfill. The bylaw is similar to ones already in place in most regions of the province.
The bylaw aims to reduce waste and the TNRD’s disposal rate, which is currently 620 kilograms per capita. The provincial average is 500 kg per capita.
The new bylaw will be implemented in three phases:
– April to May: TNRD staff visit facilities, educating customers about the bylaw and the importance of recycling cardboard.
– June to August: Mock tickets will be given out by TNRD staff to those customers who bring in loads containing more than the 10 per cent allowable volume of cardboard. The mock tickets are to help change disposal behaviours of residents and businesses.
– September and ongoing: TNRD staff may issue fines for loads that contain more than the 10 per cent allowable threshold for recyclable cardboard. Large commercial and municipal loads will be the focus of enforcement, and fines will only be issued by TNRD staff and bylaw officers. Staff at the disposal facilities, such as scale attendants, will not have the authority to issue fines.
Enforcement will only take place at landfills and transfer stations. The TNRD will not be inspecting curbside bins.
For the time being, cardboard is the only mandatory recyclable material, though the bylaw could be amended in the future to include other materials, such as plastic, glass, and metal packaging.
“We know the vast majority of customers are already complying with this bylaw by recycling their cardboard,” says Jamie Vieira, deputy general manager of operations. “Unfortunately, we still see some loads going into landfills that have a very high percentage of easily recyclable materials. This bylaw is simply another tool to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.”