New year, new you. If one of your New Year's Resolutions was to be more environmentally friendly, the Drumheller and District Regional Landfill has a big tip for you.

"Sort. Sort your material for us," said Tammy Nygaard, the operations manager at the Drumheller landfill. "That's the best I can say. For us, with the system that we have currently today, we need people to sort."

The current system is a manual sorting system, which has employees separating materials by hand.

All materials sent off to be recycled must first be sorted. Otherwise, the shipment can be rejected and the landfill would not receive any money for it.

"So, when you take your material down to the drop-offs, and it says 'cardboard' on the bin, please, only put cardboard in the bin. If it says 'newsprint' please only put newsprint in the bin. That saves us time, labour. When it gets here, it can go straight into a bailer, we don't have to sort it ourselves."

A pet peeve of landfill employees? Would-be recyclers who don't take the time to clean or sort their materials.

"My opinion is: you generate the waste, you should be responsible for your waste," explained Nygaard. "You should take the time to separate it. If you send us ketchup bottles full of ketchup, we can't do anything."

Instead, plastic containers can be rinsed out and then disposed. This includes ketchup bottles and milk and soap containers.

Questions, comments or story ideas? Email us at [email protected]

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