The city of Vancouver says it’s working with the private company responsible for recycling pickup to clear the backlog.
You’ve no doubt seen them, soggy yellow bags of cardboard next to forlorn, overflowing blue boxes.
And with residents’ frustrations growing, City manager Sadhu Johnston says officials aren’t just sitting back.
“We have expectations of them, and we’ve been in daily contact with Smithrite, I’ve personally been emailing with Smithrite, to make sure that they’re ramping up appropriately and that they’re providing the level of service expected of them.”
But Johnston says at the end of the day pickup is now a responsibility of Multi Materials BC, not the city.
“When we get a complaint we reach out to them to make sure they’re aware, and that we’re doing what we can to facilitate their getting to an area if access is a problem to to ice on the roads or in the lanes, but it’s not actually our contractor, it’s a contractor to MMBC, which is part of a provincial program and they’re providing service throughout the Lower Mainland.”
But with pickup actually contracted to industry-funded Multi-Material BC, not the city, there’s little city hall can actually do to enforce that.
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MMBC, the non-profit formed in 2014 and puts packaging producers on the hook for the cost of recycling services, took over Vancouver’s recycling pickup back in October.
Instead, it says it’s working to clear ice from the routes private trucks are having trouble with to try and clear up the backlog.
The city says trucks operated by private contractor Smithrite are lighter than the city’s equipment, so have faced greater challenges on the ice.
Smithrite says ice and snow are still causing problems on some routes and has posted next pickup dates on its website.