Graphic shows what items are presently being accepted for recycling by the TNRD and what items are not.

Contaminated recyclables a growing issue

The TNRD is working on changes to its recycling system to ensure recycling can continue


Thompson-Nicola Regional District is asking residents to be more vigilant about disposing of recyclable materials.

This comes after the TNRD’s recycling processor, Emterra Environmental, recently informed the TNRD that it would no longer accept mixed recycling, citing high contamination levels.

Due to international pressures, such as China’s new “National Sword” policy, there is now no longer a market for mixed recycling with any level of contamination. This means that processors like Emterra cannot sell this product.

READ MORE: Plastic bags must be separated out of recyclables (Sept. 7, 2017)

“The biggest source of contamination is from the municipal recycling depots and curbside-collected recycling,” says Jamie Vieira, manager of environmental services at the TNRD. “This is to be expected as there is no one monitoring what goes in the bin. It is up to individual residents if we are to avoid sending mixed recycling to landfill.”

In response to this, the TNRD is asking for residents’ help by ensuring that they are carefully following the accepted materials guidelines for mixed recycling. Contamination comes in several forms, such as food residues on otherwise acceptable items, household garbage being put into mixed recycling bins, or even items that are recyclable but are not part of the mixed recycling program.

The TNRD is working on changes to its recycling system to ensure recycling can continue. If you have questions, please contact the TNRD or go to

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