A Kelowna based property manager says she has received notice that recycling service to a variety of large properties will be drastically reduced starting next year.
Waste Connections of Canada, formerly known as BFI, will no longer accept paper, plastic or anything else that is not unsoiled cardboard.
The company sent out a notice to property managers last Friday announcing the decision, which will impact several shopping centres, offices buildings, residential complexes and more throughout Kelowna.
"Over the past 12 months, significant changes have taken place in the recycling marketplace resulting in a very low tolerance for contamination (less than 0.5%)," stated Waste Connections of Canada in a letter to its customers.
"This change means that the majority of items collected commercially, which had been deemed recyclable, are no longer accepted. Currently, over 65% of material collected as 'recycling' is now garbage and can be placed into your garbage bin. For these reasons, it's no longer economically feasible to provide comingle (or single stream) recycling collection so we will begin to offer cardboard only recycling service."
The property manager, who requested to remain anonymous, says she is shocked by the decision, deeming it unethical.
"We are already making phone calls to find alternatives because not recycling is not an option," she said. "I understand that the commodities market has sunk for now, but it's cyclical, starting up a business again is more expensive than continuing it through a difficult time."
The reduced service is scheduled to come into effect on Jan 1, 2019, however, Waste Connections of Canada says its willing to work with its customers.
"We're telling customers we have a target date to get it cleaned up and if they're not compliant by that date we have to change the service, but we are still trying to work with our customers," said Geoff Goodman of Waste Connections of Canada.
"If they want to continue the service as is, and have us be the guardians the recycled material, then they have to pay for that type of service, which most of our customers refuse. So we have to correct that type of behavior and make sure the material is clean or we will switch to cardboard only."
The Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) does inspect local recycling and can issues fines to those dumping material in violation of provincial requirements.