Coquitlam wants residents to know that no plastic bags, whether labelled biodegradable, compostable, or ‘municipality-approved’ are allowed in the Green Cart.
The City monitors contamination in Green Carts at pickup time and there are high contamination levels due to plastic bags being used to contain green waste. Plastic, compostable bags, and other non-organic contaminants are not accepted by the compost processing facility where the green waste is delivered.
Contaminated loads may be rejected by the processor and/or the City may receive financial penalties for contaminated loads. Coquitlam needs the cooperation of all residents to help keep the City’s disposal costs as low as possible.
Only organic materials, such as yard trimmings, food scraps, and food soiled paper products are acceptable. Residents may choose to wrap food waste in paper or newspaper or a cellulose-lined bag (e.g. Bag to Earth).
To help address contamination issues the City sends out information letters, followed by Notices of Violation, and subsequent fines for repeat incidents. Failure to observe the City’s bylaw regarding acceptable Green Cart materials can lead to a $500 fine.
The bottomline is that people need to stop putting their green waste in “plastic” bags whether you think it is compostable or not. If you don’t, well, it is likely going to cost you.