01/04/2012 03:03 EST | Updated 03/05/2012 05:12 EST

Westmount waste defiers could be fined

Residents and business owners in Westmount could soon face hefty fines if they refuse to follow recycling rules.

The city is set to vote on a bylaw that will impose fines ranging from $100 to $4,000 on those who don’t separate recycling and compost from garbage, and anyone who breaks the rules on when and where waste can be disposed.

Westmount's Environmental Commissioner, Theodora Samiotis, said she hopes the threat of fines will inspire people to be more conscious about their waste and its impact on the environment.

“What we really hope to do with this bylaw is to educate people and sensitize people again about their responsibilities, not only as a Westmount resident, but as a resident of the world,” she said.

The bylaw, which will consolidate all of the city’s waste regulations, also limits what can be placed in recycling and compost ,and details when waste can be put on the curb.

Resident Shelley Kerman already sorts her household waste, but says fines for non-compliance are over the top.

“I think they're way out of line and people need to be taught, educated, encouraged, not slapped with big fines.”

The city said the top fines would only be applied in extreme circumstances such as commercial dumping of hazardous materials, or residential customers who refuse to comply after multiple infractions.

Westmount City Council will vote on the proposal Jan. 16.