Waste Connections is expanding its Recycling Done Right Clean Cart Program into Ridgefield, Camas and Yacolt in May.
The program, which began in Vancouver in 2020, helps users know what’s OK to recycle and what’s not OK.
A team of “recycling advocates” drives around and looks into recycling containers in front of homes. If the team spots an item that shouldn’t be recycled, it posts an “oops” tag on the cart that identifies the items.
The two recycling advocates wear safety vests and drive a branded Waste Connections vehicle so people can easily identify them. The expansion won’t add any more employees or vehicles, but the two advocates will now be targeting the new cities.
Items on the tags that shouldn’t be recycled include plastic grocery bags and films, bubble mailers, plastic to-go cups and shredded paper.
“They only lift the cart lid, peek at the contents and note items they see inside that should not be placed in the cart,” according to a Tuesday press release. “They do not touch or remove items or collect any identifiable information from the cart.”
The advocates will try to cover half to a quarter of the county every year, said Derek Ranta, district manager for Waste Connections of Washington.
Ranta said that if the advocates spot a perfect recycling bin, they’ll leave the house alone in the future, but if there’s a contaminated one, they may come back for checkups.
“They’re not the police; they’re just out there trying to educate people,” Ranta said.
Visit https://wcnorthwest.com/recycleright for more information on the program.