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Blue box collection expands

Save Slurpee sippers, don’t trash that Timmy’s tumbler and round up those restaurant ramen receptacles.

A new curbside recycling program starts in Richmond on Monday, and more items than ever can be bequeathed to the blue box.

The city is joining the Multi-Material B.C. program. City contractor Sierra Waste Services will continue collection, but recyclables will be turned over to a new processor that’s accepting a wider range of materials.

“Richmond residents are doing a really good job recycling household items and food scraps as well. We are almost at the 70 per cent mark in reaching our goal for recycling,” said Linh Huynh, the city’s recycling co-ordinator.

The city is aiming to divert 70 per cent of local waste from the landfill by 2015. Last fall—two months into the expanded green cart program—the city found residents in single-family homes were already recycling 68 per cent of their waste.

Starting next week, if a container has held food or drink, chances are it can go in the blue box. Coffee cups, plastic take-out containers, milk cartons, juice concentrate and potato chip tubes will now be accepted.

Drink containers—paper, waxed paper or plastic—are now blue box-able, along with drink lids. So are coffee cup sleeves, which go in a new yellow bag, which is now the only bag residents need for paper recycling.

Unbroken glass containers will continue to be accepted, only now in the provided grey box. Lids go in the blue box.

Other household waste the blue box now welcomes includes aerosol cans, flower pots and other plastic containers. Scanning materials for a recycling number is now a thing of the past.

Styrofoam, plastic bags and plastic wrap are also recyclable, but must be brought to the city’s recycling depot, 5599 Lynas Lane.

The new recycling program offers a cost benefit to the city—approximately $1.27 million, according to a staff report—as more waste is recycled and diverted from the landfill. But industry groups, representing businesses such as farms and newspapers, have warned that new fees for producers will result in job losses and business closures.

New recyclables collected curbside starting May 19

•Aerosol cans and caps (food items, air fresheners, shaving cream and hairspray)

•Microwavable bowls, cups and lids

•Paper food containers and cartons (ice cream containers, milk cartons)

•Paper drink cups and lids

•Plastic cold drink cups and lids

•Plastic containers, trays and caps (bakery containers, deli trays)

•Plastic and paper garden pots and trays

•Spiral-wound paper cans and lids (frozen juice, potato chips, nuts)

Source: City of Richmond

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