Banff dumpster divers costing town big bucks

Rob Greenfield is on a mission -- and it involves getting his hands, and the rest of him, pretty dirty.

Dumpster divers are costing Banff some big bucks these days.

People are tearing apart garbage bags in search of recyclable containers and that's reducing the cost efficiency of the local recycling program. Now, town officials say they plan to install new covers on the recycling bins to keep dumpster divers out.

"Right now, you deposit a can or a bottle into the bin and there's nothing stopping you or someone from taking the bottle back out again," said Paul Godfrey, manager of operations with the Town of Banff. "We are redesigning the lids to be more like a mail chute so that when you actually open up the lid, you can deposit the refundable there and then when you close it, it deposits into it and that way it just creates a one-way door."

Four years ago, Banff invested $700,000 in a new recycling system.

Last year, the town collected about $28,000 worth of refundable containers but this year it has only collected about $13,000.