District townships plan to dump NORA

Rainy River council decided Monday night to sever ties with the Northwest Ontario Recycle Association, joining similar moves by Emo and Alberton last week.
These are the latest of 10 area municipalities that have served notice of their intent to opt out of NORA, including Morley, La Vallee, Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls, Sioux Lookout, Red Lake, Ear Falls, and Kenora.
Chapple is holding off on a decision until after the district municipal association meeting next week in Fort Frances.
“One of the reasons we got out is because you don’t know what you’re buying,” Alberton Reeve John Milling said at that township’s council meeting last Wednesday.
As previously reported in the Times, NORA’s increasing debt load saw fees rise from $10 to $17 per capita effective Jan. 1—a jump many district municipalities said they couldn’t support.
“Seventeen dollars is not going to cut it,” said Emo Deputy Reeve Gary Judson. “We’re going to opt out but we’ll still have a depot. We’ll still recycle.”
Several municipalities also gave a lack of reliable service as a reason for dumping NORA. “It’s not a functioning entity,” Reeve Milling argued.
But NORA chair Dennis Brown, also the mayor of Atikokan, said he expects communities will recommit to the recycling service once a more efficient and cost-effective program is in place.
“Sioux Lookout might come back depending on what happens,” he noted. “[Municipalities dropping out] is a problem but NORA can’t continue to lose money.”
Brown said many options were being considered, including bi-weekly instead of weekly pickups, plastic bags instead of “blue boxes,” and decreasing the amount of items picked up because many are of no value.