Monday, September 30, 2019

With plans for Transfer Station closure, Recycling takes a step backwards ... before curb side pickup plans are ready

A clean transfer site above, but on some days that's not the case at the
Kaien Island Transfer Station.  The issue of abandoned goods and changing
regulations means that the Transfer Station will close for good on October 20th

North Coast Regional District has pointed the finger towards those who did not follow the rules and some changing regulations across BC,  as part of the reasoning behind the decision to close the Transfer Station Bins at the Kaien Road recycling centre in the city's Industrial Park.

The regional body, which oversees the recycling program on the North Coast, put the focus on employee safety in its information release today outlining why it has chosen to close the local transfer station option.

Since the transfer station’s opening in 2014, the NCRD has struggled to address material overflow and abandonment issues at the site. 

To address these issues, in 2016, the regional recycling depot’s hours of operation were expanded to include a four (4) hour shift on Sundays and on Boxing Day. Since that time, the NCRD has continued to fund $15,000, annually, to increased operational hours to accommodate 24/7 access to recycling material drop-off for residents

 While the majority of residents drop-off recyclable material consistent with NCRD collection programs, there are a number of users who continue to abandon waste materials such as household garbage, large scrap metal, auto body parts, and sanitary and bio-hazardous waste at the transfer station. 

This is particularly concerning given that the abandonment of these waste materials at the transfer station pose significant risk to both equipment and employee safety.

North Coast Regional Chair, Barry Pages addressed the employee safety issue further as part of today's announcement.

“Employee safety is paramount to us at the NCRD. While the decision to close the transfer station has been difficult, ultimately, we cannot, in good conscience, subject our employees to daily safety risks caused by reckless abandonment of waste materials"

The Kaien Road Transfer Station after a particularly rough weekend
with a number of items abandoned around the property

The station opened for public use in the fall of 2014,  and as the Regional District noted today, at that time, the transfer station was intended to provide residents with 24/7 access to recycling material drop-off, while increasing the overall volume of material collected and reducing the overall operational cost to collect materials.

Regional District also observed today, as to how the unstaffed transfer station now runs afoul of the province's recycling regulations.

Under the Recycle BC program, residential packaging and printed products must be collected at through residential curbside programs or through staff collection sites. Because the transfer station is an unstaffed collection site, it does not comply with current provincial regulation for collection of those materials.

Given the overflow, abandonment, compliance and financial issues that have been outlined by Regional District Officials and stating that it comes following careful consideration, the NCRD has made the decision to close the regional recycling transfer station, effective October 20, 2019.

As part of the winding down of the Transfer station, Regional District will remove the existing bins and eliminate the four (4) hour Sunday shift indefinitely.

To help to offer a bit more time to get your recycling done,  the Regional District will increase the regional recycling depot’s hours of operation  from four (4) to eight (8) hours on Saturdays, resulting in the regional recycling depot opening from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Towards the larger goal of developing a curb-side collection program in Prince Rupert, Des Nobels, the Chair of the Regional Recycling Advisory Committee  observed how work continues towards furthering those local collection plans, though with few details revealed today as far as a timeline goes.

“While the news of the transfer station closure is discouraging, the Regional Recycling Advisory Committee continues to work with the City of Prince Rupert, Recycle BC and other stakeholders to implement a successful curbside residential collection program for the community in the near future.”

The curb side pick up initiative is being developed by the Regional Recycling Advisory Committee  which was established to advise on regional recycling services.

It includes members from the NCRD, the City of Prince Rupert, the District of Port Edward and local environmental representatives, the NCRD continues to work with all stakeholders to bring residential curbside recycling to Prince Rupert.

Regional District offered up the prospect of some progress back in February, with an update on the work of the Recycling committee from January.

The quest to bring curbside recycling to the community has also been an occasional topic for Prince Rupert civic officials, with Councillors Nick Adey and Barry Cunningham inquiring on its progress back in December.

An eye towards the future also made for part of the bid process for a new waste collection vehicle in August, though there have been few updates from the City as to where the region is at when it comes to moving forward with any plans.

Regional Officials also advised today that once the Transfer bins are removed and the station closed that residents not abandon materials at the site. 

The NCRD will continue to monitor abandonment issues at the closed transfer station site and will report violations to the RCMP to ensure that roadways and adjacent properties remain clean, and that residents abandoning waste materials are prosecuted accordingly.

You can review the full advisory from Regional District here.

For more items of note related to Regional District see our archive page here.

No comments:

Post a Comment