By Craig Westcott / July 28, 2023
CBS councillor Gerard Tilley says mandatory recycling is in the town’s future.
The Ward 3 councillor represents Conception Bay South on the board of directors of the Eastern Regional Service Board, the quasi-government agency that oversees garbage collection on most of the Avalon Peninsula.
Tilley said the board has decided that come January 1, 2024, recycling will be mandatory for all its customers.
“I believe that on the greater Northeast Avalon, Paradise and Conception Bay South are probably the only two communities that don’t have mandatory recycling,” Tilley said. “So, I’m certainly going to ask that we bring that topic back to our public works committee for discussion. I think it’s badly needed. Just to give you an example: when I leave my house to go to work in St. John’s, I pass probably 200 homes on Thursday mornings, and I think the highest I counted one morning was 17 houses that had a blue bag out. So, it’s obvious that a lot of people are not recycling the best way they can. I certainly encourage the committee to look further at the positives of mandatory recycling.”
Mayor Darrin Bent asked Tilley if the policy will mean that residents will have to use clear garbage bags for their trash.
That’s a policy some municipalities have implemented so that it’s harder to hide recyclables.
“That’s correct, clear bags with the option of one (coloured bag) for private material,” said Tilley.
“And if I understand it correctly, with the clear bags, as long as there is (only) recycling in it, they will pick it up for recycling, but if there’s garbage in among it, then it becomes garbage and it will be just left there,” Bent said.
“That is correct,” Tilley said.
“So once that’s adopted – and we will talk about it here for Conception Bay South and see where we are – but the idea would be the clear bag has to just have garbage in it,” said the mayor. “If there’s recycling in it, then you get to keep it and it doesn’t get picked up, I believe that’s how it works. And I believe Mount Pearl and St. John’s have gone this route now.”
“They have,” said Tilley. “And to great success.”