UBC Undergraduate Research

Recycling contamination in the North Shore Fedianina, Olga


Human population and innovative technologies are increasing, creating growing waste in landfills. However, some waste products can be recycled and are recycled around the world. There are certain guidelines on proper recycling that have to be followed in order to achieve desired results. Yet, many people recycle incorrectly creating problems, such as contamination. Recycling contamination is a term referred to items placed in bins that cannot be recycled or materials disposed of in the wrong recycling carts (Vantol, 2011). Recycling contamination is a significant problem and is most common in multi-family dwellings (MFDs). To compare to single-family dwellings (SFDs), MFDs have lower participation rates and higher contamination rates (Vantol, 2011). The problem exists around the world. Many different levels of governments and corporations have tried to tackle the problem of contamination. In some cases proposed solutions were successful, however in some they were not. A municipal agency - The North Shore Recycling Program offers recycling services to North Vancouver. Their mission is “to make conservation second nature on the North Shore by moving the community from environmental awareness to sustainable action” (North Shore Recycling website). The agency comes across the problem of recycling contamination extremely often. Thus, they would like to be informed of the reasons behind increased recycling contamination rates in MFDs and solutions that were successfully used in other areas, as well as some that were not, in order to overcome the barriers the agency experiences.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International