"Reason is always a kind of brute force; those who appeal to the head rather than the heart, however pallid and polite, are necessarily men of violence. We speak of 'touching' a man's heart, but we can do nothing to his head but hit it." --G.K. Chesterton

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Come July 1, recycling will still be weekly

Big changes are coming to the way trash (aka "garbage"), green waste and recyclables are picked up in Coquitlam. But, despite the fact the City has put a lot of time, effort and expense into explaining how the system will change on July 1, the information has a rather large gap in it relating to recyclables. To get right to the point, the information that is missing on the City's website*, in the pamphlet it sent to every household in Coquitlam this month, and in the four-page FAQ flyer is this: your "blue box" will be picked up every week, on the same day that it is currently picked up now.
Current garbage and recycling system in Coquitlam.
I need to point this out because the pamphlet does not refer to the frequency of recycling, and the FAQ flyer states confusingly that recyclables will be picked up on the same day as household garbage is picked up. And since household garbage is being picked up every second week, and not weekly, this information has led many to conclude that recyclables will be picked up every second week as well.
I have talked about the information-gap with City managers and communications staff, and they have told me they will move quickly to clarify to issue. The reason the problem arose in the first place is directly related to the fact that the City will no longer be picking up recyclables as of July 1. Instead, the contractor will be hired by Multi-Material B.C. (MMBC), a manufacturers' organization working under provincial law that has been tasked with the responsibility for recycling.
The City did not find out until quite recently who that contractor would be, what schedule the contractor would operate with, and what exactly MMBC would enable the contractor to pick up.
The good news is that the City learned within only the past few weeks that MMBC has awarded the recycling contract to Smithrite, the same company the City now has under contract to do recycling pickup.
Furthermore, MMBC says Smithrite will adhere to the same weekly schedule that it has with the City, and that it will pick up the same mix of newspapers, other paper and cardboard materials, plastics and even glass, the latter having been up in the air for several months. I understand that glass might have to be placed in a separate container, however, and might also be picked up less frequently. That's still to be determined.
As for all the other changes, including bi-weekly (every second week) trash pickup, weekly green-waste pickup, cart-selection options, etc., please refer to the City links I have provided above. Note: you have until April 25 to let the City know whether you want to increase or decrease cart size.

*After I raised the issue yesterday afternoon, the website was updated with current information about recycling.

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