Waste Connections to expand ‘Oops’ recycling education program

Camas, Ridgefield, and Yacolt will soon see advocates in their neighborhoods

The Oops patrol is expanding, an effort to help consumers do a better job of recycling in Clark County.

A team of Recycling Advocates from Waste Connections has been visiting neighborhoods in Vancouver and parts of unincorporated Clark County since 2020 in an effort to educate residents about what can and cannot be accepted for recycling in the blue carts.

If advocates notice items in a cart that do not belong, an “Oops” reminder tag is placed on the cart, detailing the do’s and don’ts.

Just a friendly reminder of the do’s and don’ts with recycling carts. Graphic courtesy of Waste Connections
Just a friendly reminder of the do’s and don’ts with recycling carts. Graphic courtesy of Waste Connections. Click to view PDF

Beginning in May, the program will expand as advocates head to Camas, Ridgefield, and Yacolt.

Advocates are easily identifiable, wearing safety vests and traveling throughout neighborhoods in a Waste Connections vehicle. 

Protocol is for advocates to lift the cart lid, look at the visible contents and note any items they see that should not be in the cart. They do not touch or remove items, nor do they collect any identifiable information from the cart. 

If there are prohibited items in the carts, they simply leave the “Oops” reminder card.

This gives immediate feedback to residents, with the goal of improving recycling practices and keeping unacceptable items out of the blue recycle carts.

According to Waste Connections, studies have shown that putting reminder tags on recycle carts reduces items that do not belong by between 20 and 40 percent. For more information on the program, go the the Waste Connections recycle website: https://wcnorthwest.com/recycleright

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