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Many items are recyclable in Winnipeg with the city's blue box program but diapers are not on the list.

Mark Kinsley, Supervisor of Waste Diversion with the City of Winnipeg said that it's become a big volume issue. The sheer amount that started to come in near the end of this past year was overwhelming.

Kinsley said that the City of Toronto does have a recycling program for diapers but Winnipeg does not. "I'm not even sure how they do the separation but they do. So what happens in recycling across the board is that if somebody sees something that is acceptable in another program, like, if they see it on t.v. or whatever, the natural instinct or human nature is to think that it could be fine anywhere. Every program is a little bit different."

He explained that every city's acceptable lists are different from each other. "The key is always to know exactly what's acceptable in your municipality."

"One is too many, not thousands per week"

Kinsley said that since the diaper problem has been made known on the City's website with a video, along with public media, the dirty diapers in blue boxes have decreased. "I think the message is getting out."

"It's one of the worst for contamination," he said, "not only do they downgrade wherever they may end up in a commodity that's' going to be sold, the end market sees that as zero tolerance. So as soon as they see that the entire shipment is deemed unacceptable. There's a spectrum of contamination and diapers are right up there with the worst."

Kinsley believes that the problem doesn't originate from one area over another."The fact that there's so many, it's safe to say that it's coming in a bit from everywhere, " he said.

The key is to know what is acceptable. "Anything that comes through that's not acceptable causes different kinds of problems at the plant," Kinsley said, "it can affect the machinery as far as causing downtime. The diapers cause unhygienic and unhealthy situations for the workers that are at the facility."

For information on what's acceptable in the blue box and what isn't, you can check the City of Winnipeg's website.

 

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