The Fernie Transfer Station is now the home of the RDEK’s newest Recycle BC Depot, adding new recycling opportunities for area residents.
Officially opening on Monday, February 3, 2020, the Recycle BC Depot is separate from the RDEK’s yellow bin system and allows for 76 additional items to be recycled.
“The new Recycle BC Depot at the Fernie Transfer Station provides residents with the ability to recycle a wide range of items that are not accepted in the local yellow bin program or Fernie’s curbside recycling,” said Kevin Paterson, RDEK Manager of Environmental Services.
Some of the new items that can be recycled at the location include #7 plastics, aerosol cans, styrofoam, milk substitutes, and zippered bags such as pet food bags or Ziplocs.
“Because we are operating a regulated Recycle BC Depot, we are classified as a collector,” added Paterson. “That means every tonne of product the RDEK collects at this depot, we will be compensated by Recycle BC, which will save tax dollars for the public.”
With the yellow bin system, the RDEK pays per tonne of recyclables collected. However, the yellow bin system is still in operation and will continue to accept paper, cardboard, tin/aluminum cans, grocery bags and shopping bags and any #1 to #6 plastics.
“The Recycle BC Program requires depots to be run with very specific guidelines, including gated and staffed locations and a bit more separation of materials,” said Paterson. “Our existing yellow bin program does not meet their program specifications, so we have had to get creative.”
The new Recycle BC depot has separate bins for each category including paper/cardboard, glass, plastic bags and overwrap, flexible plastic packaging, styrofoam, and containers whether they be metal, plastic, lids, cartons, or beverages.
“It is very important to understand is that this is a new option and a totally separate program from the yellow bin system or City of Fernie curbside recycling,” explained Patterson. “People will have to use the Recycle BC Depot at the Transfer Station if they want to access these new recycling opportunities as we do not have access to the same markets through our yellow bin system.”
Patterson said there will be a learning curve for residents, as the yellow bin program has been well established for more than 20 years. The RDEK will be launching an exhaustive education campaign in the coming weeks to provide more information on the Recycle BC Depots around the region, and how residents can access and utilize the new service.
The RDEK now has four established Recycle BC Depots with locations at the Cranbrook, Kimberley and Fernie Transfer Stations as well as the Columbia Valley Landfill. Elkford will be getting its Recycle BC Depot at the Elkford Transfer Station on February 18th while Sparwood will get theirs on March 3rd at the Sparwood Transfer Station.
More: Recycling Options in the RDEK (RDEK)