Pizza boxes are no longer being accepted with curbside recycling. Aquatera says they’ve been told by Prairie Disposal that they won’t take anything that has grease or food particles, including at the Eco Centre.
“Any materials contaminated with food waste or grease cannot be recycled and should be disposed of in the garbage,” says recycling coordinator Tammy Savidan.
Savidan explains the change is due to a “drastic” reduction in the margin for contamination. China enacted a plastic waste import ban due to contamination at the beginning of this year, and it’s reported the country took more than half of the world’s exports of waste plastic, paper and metals in 2016.
“We need to be very strict in enforcing these rules as they are coming directly from our buyers,” says Savidan. “However, if residents remove the contamination we will go back and collect the bag.”
The change was a sudden one, which Aquatera has acknowledged on its Facebook page. Any blue bags that weren’t picked up Wednesday should have been collected later on, and a long-term implementation plan is reportedly in the works.
In the meantime, residents should throw their pizza boxes in the garbage, along with other containers like donut boxes that could be soaked in food or grease. Anything left for recycling should be clean and dry. That includes paper, hard plastics labelled #1 to #7, tin cans, and tissue boxes.