Letter: I just moved to Burnaby and already hate its recycling system


Re: This south Burnaby resident is fed up with living in a dumping zone, NOW Opinion, Feb. 2

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I am a new resident to Burnaby and it was suggested I write you. Firstly, I recently read an article in your paper pertaining to residents being frustrated with being a dumping ground for garbage. I agree that people should not dump their garbage and recycling illegally, but I can understand why people do it.

I recently moved to north Burnaby (Burnaby Heights, I believe this neighbourhood is called) and came to quickly realize placing my trash and recycling at curbside is very frustrating. 

I find a vast difference between Burnaby and Abbotsford when it comes to waste collection. I am a huge advocate for recycling.

In Abbotsford, you place all your recyclables in a clear blue bag, and the city’s contractor picks it up once a week. In our blue bags, we could place everything in it that is recyclable. They take as many blue bags as you have. Abbotsford picks it up.

In the event a resident has an item that is not taken placed in the blue bag, they leave you a sticker with a checkmark of what is wrong. They also allow three garbage bins per home for garbage, as it is picked up biweekly, as well as a separate bin for yard waste. 

Coming to Burnaby, well, that is an entire different story. What used to take me five minutes while putting my garbage out is now taking me over 20 to figure out what goes where. They don't take blue bags here, only these extremely small yellow bags - not much bigger than your bag you may find in your grocery store. They only allow one bin per house and you cannot purchase extra stickers to put more out, which you can in Abbotsford. 

Now, I am a renter, and there is a main floor and a basement suite. We have to share one garbage bin. This is not the fault of the home owner, but the fault of the city due to their regulations. 

I am a business owner and moved my business to Burnaby, and now I am thinking that residing here as well is a large pain due to the issues with garbage collection. The city should re-think the process and allow three bins just like other municipalities, as well as the blue bag system.

Jolene Johnson, Burnaby

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