Blue boxes picked up, even­tu­ally

New ser­vice provider adds shift Satur­day to col­lect missed re­cy­cling

The Peterborough Examiner - - FRONT PAGE - EX­AM­INER STAFF

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.

CLIF­FORD SKARSTEDT EX­AM­INER

Re­cy­cling trucks were out in the north end, in­clud­ing Barnardo Av­enue, to empty blue boxes on Satur­day.

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