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VIDEO: Fines await waste company threatening to trash recycling program

If a letter written by a major waste collection company is to be believed, the recycling program in the Central Okanagan is in crisis.

Waste Connections of Canada cites contamination problems and changes in the marketplace as reasons for scrapping much of it's recycling commitments.

The letter states that Waste Connections will begin to offer "cardboard only recycling service."

Starting in the new year, the correspondence says, the majority of items currently considered recyclable, "...can be placed in your garbage bin."

But the City says, not so fast. That would be a by-law violation.

"We would fine them," said Kevin Van Vliet, City of Kelowna utilities manager.

Van Vliet said fines of 150 dollars per ton await any company planning to carry a mix of garbage and recyclables to the landfill.

"The response seems pretty extreme," said Van Vliet. "We don't want recyclables to wind up in the garbage."

Today, Waste Connections Canada told KelownaNow that only one letter went out, but the property manager we spoke to says her company manages thousands of properties. She also says other companies received the same letter.

Waste Connections spokesperson Geoff Goodman seemed to be walking back the company's position today, suggesting it was aimed at getting their customers to stop putting dirty material into their recycling bins.

"We're just trying to get customers to follow the program the way it's laid out."

The letter was not interpreted that way by the property management company. Today, the company that contacted us said they've received calls suggesting that there will now be no such change. They credit the back-tracking to the inquiries and reporting by KelownaNow.

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