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First-of-its-kind recycling bins installed at nine Port Coquitlam parks

The designated touch-free Return-It cans allow residents and visitors to properly dispose of their refundable containers.
In a first-of-its-kind initiative anywhere in B.C., new Port Coquitlam recycling bins have been placed in nine city parks for easy disposal of refundable containers.

Picnickers in Port Coquitlam city parks now have an easy way to dispose of those empty beer and pop cans thanks to a new recycling partnership with Return-It.

This week, the city announced it would be placing bins for refundable containers in nine local parks.

Mountains of bottles and cans started to appear this summer — one of the hottest on record — as people fled their homes for cooler spaces.

With alcoholic beverages also permitted, those empty cans and bottles started to pile up, attracting bears and bugs.

The new containers eliminate the need to touch a handle — something many people don’t want to do, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic — and are accessible for collectors who return the bottles for extra cash to supplement their income.

The project — a first for B.C. and at no cost to PoCo — is considered a win-win for both the city’s residents, bears, binners, residents and park-goers.

“As you know, wildlife-proof, locking bins are necessary to keep animals safe in parks, however, usual locking models involve a high-touch handle,” stated Return-It in an email to the Tri-City News.

“The city was finding that residents were avoiding touching these locking bins. As a solution, Return-It, in partnership with the City of Port Coquitlam, developed a new form of touchless, locking bin which uses a foot pedal to allow residents to properly recycle, while also keeping wildlife out.”

The new bins are also getting positive comments from PoCo residents, some of who stated on Facebook the pedal system should be implemented for all garbage bins.

“We are very excited about our partnership with Return-It to provide waste diversion solutions for our residents and park users,” said Mayor Brad West. 

This innovative bin, which is wildlife-proof, but also touchless to adapt to the new normal, can now be found at the following PoCo parks:

  • Aggie
  • Castle
  • Cedar
  • Evergreen
  • Gates
  • Lions
  • Settlers
  • Dominion
  • Peace
  • McLean