(Special to the Langley Advance)

Langley Township clamps down on green waste contaminants

Be picky about what goes in the green waste containers, because it’s proving costly.

It only takes a bit of time and a little knowledge to properly sort organic waste into Green Carts, a habit that has a great impact on our health and the environment.

But when Green carts are contaminated with items that don’t belong, the results are costly, said Township solid waste coordinator Christopher Combe.

To avoid the expense, residents are asked to review what goes in their green carts, and to better understand what doesn’t belong.

“Green carts are only to be used for food scraps, yard trimmings, and food-soiled paper products such as napkins, paper towels, and pizza boxes,” Combe said.

More common contaminants are items such as plastic bags and wrap, even those sold as compostable or bio-degradable, and items like dirt, plastic containers, and other recyclables.

Garden rakes and lawnmower parts are some of the more unique contaminants that have been discovered, he shared.

“These objects certainly do not belong in green carts, which are for organic waste only,” Combe added, noting a full list of what can and can’t be placed in green carts can be found at tol.ca/greencart.

Residents can use their blue boxes to recycle material like plastic containers, and bring styrofoam and plastic bags to local recycling depots.

“By placing organics in green carts we help save space in landfills and reduce the effects of harmful greenhouse gasses that are produced when organics rot in a landfill,” Combe explained.

Organics have been banned from transfer stations, and Township residents are required to separate them from their garbage under Solid Waste Management Bylaw 2016 No. 5200.

When collecting green cart waste, crews check for visible contamination and will tag carts and leave unacceptable loads behind for residents to remove contaminants.

However, they only get a snapshot of what is in the carts, and even tiny objects such as stickers from fruits and vegetables are a form of contamination.

Material collected from the Township’s green cart program is then sent for composting, and used to create soil and garden products that are sold at local stores. If contaminants are not kept out of the organic waste, impurities can make their way back into local yards, he said.

Not only is contamination harmful to the environment, it hits Township residents in the pocketbook, as the composting facility charges the municipality a higher rate when it must remove unacceptable material from the organics.

“We are asking residents to review the do’s and don’ts of green cart use, and to do their part to separate their waste,” Combe said, “What residents put in their green carts can ultimately affect the soil they purchase as part of their gardening routine.”

For more information, people can contact solid waste coordinator Christopher Combe by emailing ccombe@tol.ca or by calling 604-532-3562.

RELATED: WATCH: Keep your kitchen catchers clean

Just Posted

VIDEO: Langley environmentists enhance native pollinator habitat

Langley Environmental Partners Society begins a pollinator pathway along BC Hydro right of way.

VIDEO: Langley hockey tournament remembers young fan

Hundreds take part in annual Jordan Owens memorial

Giants earn road victory in first playoff game

A Langley-based WHL hockey team pulls out a 2-1 defeat over Victoria Friday, plays again Saturday.

Marathon day of golf earns Langley junior golfer a title

Andy Kim won the Humber College PGM Championship.

VIDEO: Fire shuts down 232 Street in Langley

Traffic being re-routed following Langley structure fire

Vancouver Aquarium’s resident octopus released into ocean

Staff let the Giant Pacific octopus go into the waters near Bowen Island so she can reproduce

B.C. umpire has developed thick skin after 30 years listening to insults

Scott McLaren pays no mind to comments from the cheap seats

Musicians Sarah Harmer, Grimes join B.C. anti-pipeline protests

Musicians are in Vancouver for the Juno Awards on Sunday night

Gas prices likely driving Canadians to US pumps

Customs say cost of fuel, nice weather, spring break are contributing factors of uptick of traffic

Canadian cities hold March for our Lives events in wake of Florida shooting

Hundreds of people support the massive March for Our Lives event in Washington, D.C.

Health officials called after acid spill near B.C.-Alberta border leaks into creek

Tanker truck crashed south of Dawson Creek, spilling 17,000 litres of hydrochloric acid

Embattled band Hedley plays last show in B.C. before hiatus

About 3,000 tickets had sold for final performance at Kelowna’s Prospera Place

Trudeau to exonerate B.C. First Nations chiefs hanged in 1860s

Prime Minister to absolve Tsilhqot’in chiefs in relation to deaths of 14 construction workers

Canucks sing the Blues as they fall to St. Louis 4-1

Berglund nets two, including the game-winner, to lift St. Louis over Vancouver

Most Read