Blue boxes picked up, eventually
New service provider adds shift Saturday to collect missed recycling
Last week’s recycling has been collected and most city residents’ blue boxes have been brought in from the curb.
Many Peterborough residents were concerned last week when their recycling wasn’t picked up on their usual day.
The city has hired a new company to collect and process recyclables. Emterra Environmental took over the service Nov. 1.
The firm issued reminders to residents to sort their recyclables properly, advising that improperly sorted blue boxes would be left at the curb.
However, many residents discovered last week, even properly sorted boxes weren’t picked up in several city neighbourhoods.
City waste diversion manager Dave Douglas said 12 streets were missed Thursday, but The
Examiner received reports of many more. Emterra has a record of similar issues in the Niagara Region, but the city has penalties for poor performance built into its seven-year contract with the company.
Those issues became evident in the company’s first week on the job, with frustrated residents being told by the city to call Emterra, only to find the company’s voice mail full.
Initially, the city asked affected residents to leave their blue boxes out Friday until 7 p.m., then bring them in from the curb and put them out again the following week if they weren’t picked up.
Later, though, the city advised that Emterra would send crews out Saturday to finish the job, which happened. Most northend blue boxes were finally collected by midday Saturday.
Douglas said Friday that several factors caused the missed pickups. The company is breaking in new drivers in new trucks
on new routes, he explained, and the process of inspecting blue boxes — enforcing a city rule that has been in place for some time — has taken longer than expected.
Last week’s snowfall was also a factor, he said.
Emterra is enforcing the rules for Peterborough’s two-bluebox system. The rules are in place to make the process of sorting and selling recyclables more efficient, the city has advised.
Recycling must be at the curb by 7 a.m. on collection day and no earlier than 6 p.m. the night before.
Containers, including clean plastic, metal and glass, as well as juice boxes, must be in one blue box, with fibres, including newspapers, office paper, cardboard and boxboard, in another. Cardboard must be flattened and tied.
Shredded paper or loose office paper can be left out in clear bags, but they must be untied for easier emptying. This is the only type of bag permitted — other recyclables can’t be in blue bags.
An online tool called What Goes Where? is available at peterborough.ca/recycling as guidance.
Recycling trucks were out in the north end, including Barnardo Avenue, to empty blue boxes on Saturday.