Port Coquitlam is challenging its residents and businesses to sort it right – during Waste Reduction Week Oct. 15 to 21 and throughout the year.
Many community members are already taking advantage of the city’s user-friendly Sort it Right! resources and tools to properly sort their green waste, recycling and garbage. Port Coquitlam residents divert 66 per cent of their household waste away from the landfill – a total of 6,448 tonnes of food waste and 2,899 tonnes of recycling in 2017.
Port Coquitlam continues to work to improve its diversion rate in order to send less to the landfill and to reduce costs, as disposal of garbage is more costly than green waste and recycling.
However, some residents continue to put the wrong thing in their carts, which can lead to steep fines that are passed on to taxpayers. Audits by Metro Vancouver show that landfills are still receiving loads containing up to 30 per cent compostable waste (e.g. food scraps and food-soiled papers) and 45 per cent recyclable materials.
The top five contamination problems in Port Coquitlam:
- Plastic bags and soft plastics – never put into the blue cart. Take them to a recycling depot, such as Biggar Bottle Depot at 2577 Kingsway Ave.
- Construction waste and treated or stained wood – never put into the garbage or green cart. Take them to the Coquitlam Transfer Station at 1200 United Blvd.
- Food waste and food-soiled papers (e.g. napkins, pizza boxes) – never put in the garbage cart. Put them into the green cart along with plant and yard waste.
- Styrofoam containers and trays – never put in the garbage or recycling cart. Take them to a recycling depot.
- Electronics, power tools and small appliances – never put into the garbage. Bring them to take-back depots (search www.returnit/ca/electronics for electronics and www.electrorecycle.ca for small appliances/tools).
Recognizing that sorting waste can be confusing, Port Coquitlam launched its Sort it Right! program several years ago to provide user-friendly resources and tools, including:
- Sort it Right! search tool – find out how to properly dispose of items on a computer (www.portcoquitlam.ca/
sortitright), or a device using the PoCo Waste-Line app.
- PoCo Waste-Line app – view personalized collection schedules, set up collection alerts, use the search tool, report problems and more. Download for free at www.portcoquitlam.ca/wasteline
- Community Calendar and Waste Collection Schedule – filled with scenic photos, city event information, waste-sorting tips and the year’s collection schedule. Delivered to doorsteps or available at city facilities each December.
- Sort it Right! Waste Sorting & Services flipguide – a colourful guide issued in late fall with detailed collection and sorting information and the year’s collection schedule. Pick up in December at City facilities or download from www.portcoquitlam.ca/
- Ambassador outreach program – ask a question, request resources or book a free presentation for a group, strata or school: www.portcoquitlam.ca/
- Online resources – go to www.portcoquitlam.ca/waste for a variety of information about the green cart program, recycling program and depots, and more.
- In-person support: Contact 604-927-5496 or drop by Public Works, 1737 Broadway St. to speak to a staff member and pick up resources.
Waste Reduction Week encourages Canadians to think about reducing waste in all facets of their life and to make environmentally-conscious choices all year long. Follow the City’s social media channels for helpful waste reduction tips daily throughout the week.