Recycling is now mandatory in Maple Ridge. Council passed a new Solid Waste and Recycling Regulation bylaw on Tuesday night that will allow the district to fine violators and enforce green habits.
“It’s not that we were having a lot of problems, but there were some problems and the only way to actually make sure we can control it at the end of the day is to have a bylaw in place,” said bylaws director Liz Holitzky.
“We can only do so much with encouragement and education, but there does come a point in time when we have to take that next step and do some enforcement, and this will allow us to be able to do that.”
The bylaw also addresses multi-family housing and says any condo complex with more than 12 units has to use the recycling cart system, while those under that use the blue box rack system.
Most multi-family complexes already collect recyclables, but a bylaw would ensure that every new complex would have space for collecting reusable trash and for the trucks that pick it up.
Similar bylaws are already in place in Pitt Meadows, Surrey, Port Moody, Port Coquitlam and Coquitlam. According to the Ridge Meadows Recycling Society, 36 per cent of the garbage produced in Maple Ridge homes is either yard or kitchen waste or wood waste.
When that’s combined with a recycling rate of 55 per cent, Maple Ridge could exceed Metro Vancouver’s target of 70 diversion of garbage from the dump.