CK rolls out new recycling collection dates

Photo of recycling box courtesy of © Can Stock Photo / Crysrob

Chatham-Kent residents may want to mark their calendar as new recycling collection dates will come into effect on July 2.

The new collection schedule from July to December 2020, will include new pickup dates for every community of Chatham-Kent — with the exception of Dealtown, Erieau and Erie Beach.

Rick Kucera, manager of waste and recycling services, said the route and scheduling changes will introduce a more efficient way of collecting blue and black box materials.

“There were collections somewhere in Wallaceburg every day of the week, every other week… Now, recycling will occur on one day, the same day each week so the trucks will all be there servicing Wallaceburg between two days over two weeks as opposed to 10, which definitely makes a lot more sense on so many levels,” he said. “In Chatham, they’ve been able to realize efficiencies by way of essentially splitting up the community into quadrants.”

Until recently, Kucera said an evaluation of recycling, specifically the volume, hadn’t been done since 2008.

“Waste Connections approached us and did an evaluation of all curbside communities, looking at tonnages collected in those communities and essentially put forward a proposal to change collection to reflect what was being collected in all 20 communities across Chatham-Kent,” he said.

As stated in the new collection schedule, the changes are also in an effort to “keep costs in check”.

“I’m sure the company is going to see some savings essentially in time,” said Kucera. “The employees have a cap on the number of hours they can work so one of the benefits of doing this actually will [have an] impact on the garbage end. If the recycling crew can actually finish their routes with time saved then those drivers would then be available to assist with garbage.”

Kucera said the possibility of having more drivers available would especially be helpful during times of bad weather, staffing shortages, or maintenance issues with the trucks.

A list of appropriate materials to recycle can be found on the municipality’s website.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, municipal staff have asked residents who are sick to not recycle certain items in order to help keep collectors safe. However, Kucera said that request has had little effect on collection volumes over the past three months.

“Certainly if people are sick and suspect that they may have COVID-19 or do have COVID-19, then clearly anything that comes in contact with their mouth — any drinkables — we would prefer that those items for the time being go in the garbage,” he said. “The recycling crew has been trained, they are prepared to collect everything safely so I don’t expect any changes in that regard despite the reality we’re dealing with.”

Residents are expected to receive updated calendars with the new collection dates either this week or next week. Details can also be found on the municipality’s website or through the Recycle Coach app. A map detailing the changes can also be found by clicking, here. Those with questions can call the municipality at (519) 360-1998.