City of Fort St. John partners with NEAT on their recycling program

Myron Mayne


The City of Fort St. John has partnered with the Northern Environmental Action Team to try to improve the city’s recycling habits.

Earlier this month, the team hit the streets going driveway-to-driveway within the community inspecting blue bins, rating what’s in them a pass or fail.

NEAT says inspections of bins are an important part of holding residents accountable in order to keep the curbside recycling program running.

“We need to make sure that everybody has the same information as to what goes in the bin? What’s accepted and what’s not accepted? And some of the reasons why? And then to start pin-pointing some of those areas where, you know what, if you put paint cans and siding and, you know, days old food with maggots on top of it, that’s a problem for everybody because that impacts the whole quality of the recycling that we’re processing and it means that you know, one person literally can ruin it for everybody,” said Karen Mason-Bennett, Executive Director at NEAT.

The organization says some common red flag indicators in bins are food residue or household renovation materials.

“One of the things we’re seeing a lot of is food residue; it doesn’t take much to swish some water through, you know, a ketchup container or even your tin cans and just make sure that they’re clean. They don’t need to be pristine, but we shouldn’t be able to easily identify what was in them. Certainly there should be no food identifiable in the bins at all - and that actually works nicely with some of the packaging that you’re receiving, so that’s why pizza boxes have liners, that’s why a lot of takeaway bins have liners in the bottom, if you can pull that liner out, that goes in the garbage, your container goes into the recycling bin,” said Mason-Bennett.

NEAT says residents are doing their best to comply with what’s accepted in the bins as they have been handing out more pass stickers than fail stickers.

The team says they will continue to inspect bins until the end of the month.

To find out what can go in your bin visit the City of Fort St. John website or contact NEAT.

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