A recent rash of more than a dozen blue bag rejection notices along East and West Petpeswick in Musquodoboit Harbour got Cooperator readers wondering whether HRM Recycling was targeting the area. Coming home and finding your trash still sitting there is bad enough, but people reported that although there were rejection tags on their bags, in many cases there was no indication of what was offensive in the bag.
Adam Richardson, a senior communications advisor in HRM’s Public Affairs, told the Cooperator by email that while haulers got a reminder at the end of June to pay more attention to ensuring “proper materials were in the bags, this reminder was for all areas and not specific to a single area of location. There have been no memos sent specific to rural areas.”
As to the blank stickers, Richardson wrote that “it is a requirement that personnel of the recycling truck affix a sticker to any rejected recycling bags, and that proper correspondence (either a checked box or written explanation in the ‘other’ category) be provided.”
If you have received a blank rejection sticker with no information on it, Richardson offered two options: first, call 311 and let HRM know about the problem. The second option is more direct: “The education sticker placed on rejected bags has the contractor’s direct customer service contact if there are any questions from the resident about why the material was stickered and left uncollected at the location.”
There are two major reasons for rejected recycling:
1. the mixing of paper and boxboard with containers in a blue bag, called “co-mingling;”
2. the presence of Styrofoam and other garbage not accepted in the recycle program.