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New West to add townhouse/condo complexes to food scrap collection

New Westminster has given the green light to introducing a food scraps program for apartments and townhouses by July 1.

Council has decided to take its pilot project for food scraps collection from six multi-family dwellings, which ran from April to September 2011, city-wide. New Westminster already has curbside collection of food scraps for single-family homes.

"To expand that into multi-family is positive," said Coun. Chuck Puchmayr. "We understand that can be challenging and some of the older apartment buildings there might be some space constraints, and we're certainly cognizant of that, but the need to divert things from the landfill is [vital]."

Puchmayr said he'd also like to see the food scraps program expanded to collecting from commercial outlets including restaurants.

"We have to look at it. It's a good step to picking up garbage product that is 100 per cent recyclable," said Puchmayr.

The city says in the pilot project there was a 25 per cent reduction in waste with one building having it go down by 50 per cent with "virtually zero contamination."

New Westminster wants to roll out the program over a six-week period this summer. Residents will receive the same educational tools and material handed out during the pilot program.

In addition, the city is working with residents of complexes to see how recycling rates in their places can be increased, with a report to city council expected this coming fall.

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