Separate glass collection is coming for curbside customers in Chilliwack.
But it’s going to mean some extra costs.
Numerous complaints have been fielded by city hall staff since glass was taken out of curbside recycling in the spring of 2017.
Now City of Chilliwack is moving to collect glass curbside again — but in a separate waste stream from other recyclable materials.
Coun. Ken Popove’s was the most recent voice to raise the matter in publicly in council chambers, asking what it would take to see glass collected at the curb again.
But when it came to the discussion Tuesday, Coun. Popove said the expenditure of $163,000 for curbside bins to be provided to curbside customers was too much.
In the end, the rest of council approved the recommendation, with Coun. Popove opposed.
Estimated costs to add curbside glass collection by spring/summer 2019 would be just under $24 a year for each customer.
Before the meeting this week, city staff investigated what it would take to make the switch.
“At Council’s request, staff have investigated the changes to the curbside collection program that would be necessary to include curbside collection of glass,” according to the staff report on the matter contained in the Oct. 2 council agenda package.
“Curbside glass collection would significantly improve accessibility to the glass recycling stream, which would increase the quality of service offered to residents and provide an increase in diversion.”
Making it more convenient by reinstating curbside glass pickup will mean less glass dumped in the trash.
A fall 2017 waste study found that glass made up 1.5 per cent of curbside garbage headed for the landfill even after glass was removed from the list of acceptable comingled recyclables.
“An education program would be launched prior to the roll-out of glass collection, which should encourage diversion,” the report added.
The separated approach would also reduce glass contamination in the regular recycling stream. Glass gets easily broken and shards can then contaminate the other items.
“Glass is not supposed to be mixed with other curbside recycling, but some residents are not following this requirement,” the staff report stated.
Based on audits conducted by Recycle BC, glass makes up about three per cent of Chilliwack’s curbside recyclables. This is the maximum glass contamination allowed by Recycle BC, so a reduction would be “beneficial,” according to staff.
Plastic bags, foam packaging, batteries, light bulbs, and electronics, still have to be dropped off at recycling depots.