Trash strewn about the recycling bins last week.

Recycling depot becomes dumping ground

Nakusp is in needs a better waste management plan.

Nakusp residents have two options for trash removal: the purchase of designated bags to put out on garbage day or to take their own trash directly to the dump during opening hours.  Last week saw an unwelcome third option — leaving it at the recycling depot on Eighth Avenue and Second Street NW.

Bags of trash, a discarded sink, fax machine, a suitcase and food matter littered the area on the morning of September 15.  Conversation erupted on the Facebook page, the Nakusp Communicator.

“…All of us in this community use these recycle bins so going there and seeing it like this is absolutely disgusting and pretty soon they will take them away. It’s not fair for them to clean up such a mess!” wrote Karina Saarenpaa in her post, complete with photos showing some of the garbage present when she was doing her recycling.

Many chimed in; the conversation was one of the most active of the week with a total of 20 community members participating in the conversation on the popular forum.  Members suggested the culprits might be visitors to the area who don’t have a concern for where their trash ends up.  Others suggested maybe it was lower income residents or those without cars to get to the landfill which is located on the Hot Springs Road.  The consensus was that garbage is often left in the area and nobody seemed to realize that there is a phone number to call on every bin in the event of concerns.

The green recycling bins are not the responsibility of the village.  CAO Linda Tynan responded in a phone interview, “They belong under the jurisdiction of the RDCK and are managed by MMBC (Multi-Material BC).  Currently, we have a duplication of recycling services because the village has started providing curbside household recycling.”

Mike Morrison, Resource Recovery Manager with Environmental Services at the Regional District of Central Kootenay spoke with the Arrow Lakes News,

”Waste Management of Canada has been contracted to provide the recycling bin services for the RDCK at this location and are held to performance standards within the agreement.  If we are notified of dumping at the depots, they are quite diligent to rectify it.  We are all mandated to provide a clean and safe experience at each of the 27 depots in the Region.” Morrison added, “It’s fairly typical that we are the last to know.  Despite the fact that the contact numbers are posted on the bins and the signage, I have not received a recent complaint about this location.”

If residents see any type of contamination or abuse of the recycling depot, they are welcome to contact the RDCK at (250) 365-6372, 1-800-808-1909 or online at


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