City officials receive few complaints on new recycling rules
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City officials receive few complaints on new recycling rules

Last Updated Nov 22, 2016 at 5:58 am MDT

(FILE) Calgary businesses were told they had to follow same recycling rules as multi-family home as of November 1st. 660 NEWS Ian Campbell

It’s been three weeks since the city ushered in a new waste diversion strategy for businesses and organizations and officials have only received three complaints.

The rules came in to place on November 1 after weeks of warnings that businesses had to follow the same rules as multi-family residences.

A bylaw was put in place requiring everyone to recycle the same things, including scrap metal, clear plastic film and clean wood.

“We see a lot of material still coming from businesses and organizations coming to our landfill, so, building off the success we’ve seen in the single family homes, the businesses and organizations have a really great opportunity as well,” said Waste Diversion specialist Leanne Michie.

Michie says they’re using an education-based model first and talking to the owners about the recycling opportunities they have and if they have any concerns they’re being urged to call 311.

“If there is no effort on behalf of the business or organization, we would send the complaint to be bylaw,” she said. “There is no actual garbage auditors, we’re not going to be peaking through your bins or going through alleys at night. There is some really great tools though you can use online so businesses can actually do that themselves.”

“The only way that someone will come to your property and write a ticket is that if the business is not putting in the effort and the bylaw officer is sent and we don’t feel there’s any more room for education.”

Michie says it’ll operate on a complaint system, be it from a customer or an employee for example who steps forward.

The strategy won’t mean any additional costs to the taxpayers, given that businesses are taking the additional measures to divert on their own.

The goal is to be able to divert 70 per cent for all sectors by the year 2025.

“It’s been rolling out really smooth, we actually completed a survey this summer to see where businesses are at and they’re self-reporting that 50 per cent of them are bylaw compliant”

Starting November 1, 2017, businesses and organizations will have to divert food and yard waste from the office as well.