Thursday, January 23, 2014

Landfill and Recycling issues dominate council discussion

Prince Rupert City Council was back to talking trash on Monday night, the second consecutive council session where issues related to the Prince Rupert Landfill site and the recycling options available in the city found their way to the discussion table.

The topic came up again as part of the passing of a By-Law to increase taxes and charges on Solid Waste collection in the city, a motion which all but Councillor Garon voted in favour of.

A number of Councillors weighed in with opinions on the need for local residents be more dedicated towards recycling, which would remove the large volume of materials that end up in the landfill site that should be taken to the recycling centre instead.

Councillor Garon in particular is concerned about the number of residents that are passing by the recycling centre option and taking all of their household goods to the landfill site.

Councillor Carlick-Pearson offered up the motion that the recycling centre begin to sell home use recycling boxes, suggesting that they are hard to find in local stores.

An interesting suggestion, however, one might wonder if having the Recycling centre take on the added expense and duties of selling the boxes may not be the best use of that facilities resources.

There's no fast rule that a specifically dedicated tub must be used for recycling purposes, any plastic tube would most likely fit the bill, something that local retail operators may wish to cash in on.

Councillor Cunningham wondered at this point if she was perhaps suggesting a curb side program may be in the offing, though through the course of discussion on Monday night, that does not appear to be the direction that recycling in the region is heading for at the moment.

Councillor Ashley offered up an interesting aside to the debate, advising that while City of Prince Rupert representatives on Regional District had been pushing for expanded hours at the Recycling centre, they were outvoted on the issue.

A theme which did provide for the Mayor to observe on some of the challenges between the City and Regional District. Providing perhaps an indication of some of the tensions between the two bodies that occasionally come into public view.

As for the more immediate concern, some discussion also took place regarding the soon to debut 24 hour, 7 day a week recycling option at the Kaien Road recycling centre. The bins required for that particular project are anticipated to be in place in front of the recycling centre and in operation by the end of March.

With that expansion of service, it is hoped that the habits of residents of the region will include a more dedicated approach to recycling.

If not, Council may put in motion a revision to policy for the landfill site and put in place bylaws to address the issue.

You can review all of the talking points on the topic from the City's Video archive, the discussion runs from the twelve to twenty five minute mark.

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