Theft of recyclables in Maple Ridge

October 28, 2011

Corisa Bell for Maple Ridge Council
Question asked at the Maple Ridge All Candidates meeting in Fraserview where candidates, including Corisa Bell, addressed specific questions.

Preamble: The situation in some areas is that putting out recycling bins is asking for someone who is not from the recycling depot to show up on your personal or strata property and rifle through the bin to take the most valuable recyclables. This situation is beyond someone down on their luck grabbing some empty cans. Some individuals use vehicles to access recyclables before the recycling depot can arrive for pick up. This situation negatively affects the amount of revenue that the recycling society can bring in to fund its programs, and it also perpetuates the problem of trespassing on what is often private property. If people put their recyclables out in the bins and bags that are designated for the recycling depot then that should be respected. On the curb does not mean open season so is it time for city hall to act?

Question: Do you think it is time that Maple Ridge city hall creates a bylaw to deal with the issue of recyclables that are being taken by individuals who are not from the recycling society?

I’ve experienced theft of recyclables at our house and share your concerns. I spoke with Kim at the Recycling Center and was informed that this is an issue across communities. They have taken steps to track down license plate numbers, and provided them to bylaw officers, but were informed the cost of enforcing those bylaws outweighs the revenues generated.

It was suggested to me to not put out my valuable recyclables, as the organized people doing collections come to know quickly which houses do and do not put out items that carry a deposit. I would encourage you to do the same, and if you are in a strata encourage a collection service that could see recyclables delivered to the depot in bulk. It could even become a source of revenue.

Click here to download responses to all 9 questions in PDF form

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