Just about everyone who brings their blue box recycling bin to the curb each week has seen them at least once — those "oops” stickers left behind when items are rejected for pickup.
While sometimes the stickers are left on products that can't be recycled – Tim Hortons waxed paper cups, for example – those responsible for curbside pickup can also be sticklers about the type of containers used to hold the recycling.
There are a number of restrictions in place on the size, colour and weight of acceptable containers for recycling, including height and width restrictions. Clear plastic bags can used for paper or Styrofoam, as long as they also conform to size restrictions and are placed beside approved blue boxes.
Meeting this week, a frustrated Ward 6 Coun. André Rivest brought in a bag of paper in a clear plastic bag that was rejected for pickup.
The 'oops' sticker said the paper should be in a blue box, not the clear plastic bag.
“But the blue box was full,” Rivest said. “I honestly feel people are fed up.”
He said, too often, perfectly acceptable items are being rejected without good reason.
“This makes me look bad. This makes anyone of us look bad. And I'm fed up dealing with that department. I don't even want to call there any more … it's like pulling teeth.”
Other councillors expressed similar problems, with Ward 2 Coun. Jacques Barbeau saying everyone is getting frustrated with the problem.
“We're working on it,” Barbeau said.
He also expressed frustrations with long lineups at city landfills, where staff is being a little too vigilant checking vehicles before they can enter.
“It's tougher than getting through the Gestapo,” Barbeau said.
Staff will address the issues with the waste management department, councillors were told.