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Curbside recycling expanding in Courtenay next month

Residential curbside recycling in the City of Courtenay is expanding on May 19.

As of that date, residents can put new items in their Blue Box for collection. Aerosol cans, spiral-wound containers for frozen juice, cookie dough and other products, plus hot and cold drink cups and plastic plant pots are among the new items that will be collected with curbside recycling.

This expansion is part of the City’s transition of recycling services to Multi-Material BC (MMBC). Starting May 19, businesses that supply packaging and printed paper to BC residents will be responsible for collecting and managing these materials so they can be recycled. MMBC, a non-profit organization working on behalf of these businesses, will be responsible for residential recycling programs in many areas across BC, either directly or by working with local governments, First Nations, private companies and not-for-profit organizations.

Courtenay joins a long list of other BC communities that have opted to have MMBC assume responsibility for recycling in their area. In exchange, MMBC will provide a financial incentive to Courtenay. These funds will be used to offset the cost of providing recycling service to residents which will reduce the garbage user fee charged to residents on annual property tax bills.

“We think this is a positive move for residents of Courtenay,” said David Allen, chief administrative officer for the City of Courtenay.  “We’ve heard from residents that they would like to see expanded recycling services. This program expands that service while also reducing costs for taxpayers, and places a greater degree of responsibility on the companies that produce the packaging and other materials. It’s a win-win.”

The transition will take place on May 19th and affects residential Blue Box recycling pick up.  Current contractor Emterra will continue with pick up service and there will be no change to pick up schedules. Everything currently allowed, plus a number of new items, will continue to be picked up, except soft plastics which will change to depot drop off. In fact, other than being able to place more at the curb, residents shouldn’t notice the change. For a full list of items that can go in Blue Boxes starting May 19th visit www.courtenay.ca/recycling.aspx .

Recycling depots in the Comox Valley will also expand under the new program. New items will be accepted at certain depots. As of May 19, the recycling depot at the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre will expand to accept new materials including plastic foam packaging (i.e. Styrofoam), glass, plastic bags/film wrap. The recycling depots located at the BFI yard in Cumberland, the Courtenay Country Market, and behind the Canex store in Comox will not take any new items, but will continue to be drop-off locations for cardboard, hard plastics, and metal containers. The privately run Encorp Return-It depots in Courtenay and Comox will also offer packaging and printed paper recycling. For the most up-to-date list of CSWM depot locations and recyclable materials that they will accept, visit www.cswm.ca/depots.

(Other areas participating in the MMBC curbside recycling program are Royston and Cumberland. For information recycling in these areas visit www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/royston and www.cumberland.ca )

To make this transition as smooth as possible, the City of Courtenay has set up a webpage with additional information and has established an e-mail and telephone hotline for residents to use if they have additional questions. Visit www.courtenay.ca/recycling.aspx or call 250 703 4863. Radio and newspaper notices will be used to remind residents of this transition, and flyers will be distributed as the program rolls out.

— City of Courtenay

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