Northeastern Ontario marks Global Recycling Day with trash tips
TIMMINS -- In the spirit of Global Recycling Day, the City of Timmins is one of the communities in the northeast reminding people to make sure they are putting the correct items in their blue bins.
The city collects more the six million pounds of recyclables every year, according to waste management supervisor Marc Secord, with collectors telling him their trucks are feeling heavier during the pandemic.
All the while, he said most people recycle correctly, but some are adding items they shouldn't be.
"(When) their grey bin is full, they're putting the garbage in the recycling," Secord said. "The issue is that when it goes to the recycler, it contaminates the whole load. They have to go through it by hand and take the garbage out of it. It slows the process for the recycler."
It also lowers the resale value of the recyclables, he said, and in the worst case, they have to send the contaminated load to the landfill.
The city's environmental coordinator, Christina Beaton, said people need to read up on what can go in the recycling bin, what requires disposal at the landfill and what should go in the trash.
For example, she said the city can only process plastics with specific numbers on their recycling symbols.
Here are links to recycling information around the region:
Secord also encourages Timmins residents to use the city's mobile app.
"Having the Timmins Recyclopedia app is a great opportunity for residents to become educated on what they can recycle, so that you're not leading to contamination issues and putting things in your bin or the other programs that we have that don't belong," Beaton said. "It ends up costing more money to run those programs."
All of the city's recycling programs — including for electronics, textiles, oils, tires and mixed metals — exist to avoid bringing those items to the landfill, she said.
But the programs can be counterproductive if people don't use them properly, so she urges residents to take extra care in making sure items recycled are correct and clean. If in doubt, place it in the garbage bin.