Council OK’s upgrades to recycle station

Duane Hicks

The public will be able to drop off recyclables 24 hours a day, seven days a week, at the recycle transfer station here later this year after town council approved a tender for an upgrades project there at a special meeting yesterday afternoon.
Council awarded the tender to the lowest bidder—Ed Kaun & Sons Ltd.—to do the upgrades, which will include the building of a loading ramp at the Public Works yard, installing chain link fencing, paving, building a concrete retaining wall, and the addition of four large recycling bins.
This work is expected to be done prior to the ground freezing this winter.
When completed, the public will be able to come by the recycle transfer station, which will be facing Sixth Street West, whenever they want to drop off the contents of their “blue boxes” into large bins.
The idea is to give residents more options for getting rid of their recyclables and enhance access to do so, explained Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown.
If people wanted to go on vacation, for instance, they could get rid of their recyclables before they go and not have to wait for their scheduled curbside pick-up, he noted, clarifying that curbside “blue box” pick-up will continue.
The drop-off station is in addition to that, not a replacement.
“We get people that want pick-up every week. Now, they have an alternative . . . they can come here free of charge,” said Brown.
He noted there is some concern about contamination of the recyclables, and in future the town might consider security cameras to make sure people aren’t throwing away garbage instead of recyclables.
Brown also explained the new loading ramp will allow the town to improve its efficiency when packing trailers full of recyclables.
Mayor Roy Avis said that around the holiday season, sometimes residents go for three weeks without curbside “blue box” pick-up and this may tempt some to throw away recyclables with the rest of their garbage.
As such, having the option to drop off their recyclables without having to wait should come in handy, he added.
Coun. Andrew Hallikas said he supported going with a local contractor who also put in the lowest bid and has done good work for the town in the past, and also wants to get the job done before winter.
The tender was awarded at an estimated cost of $144,568 (including HST), plus a $10,000 contingency allowance.
This will be partially paid for with the $74,379 the town received from Waste Diversion Ontario this past February, with the rest coming from the town budget.
Last year, the town expanded its recyclable storage building.
Also at yesterday special meeting, council:
•agreed to submit a resolution to the Rainy River District Municipal Association at its next meeting (Sept. 14) regarding district municipalities sharing the cost of running the Fort Frances Airport; and
•agreed to amend the community physician recruitment package to include two memberships to Energy Fitness, as per the request of new family physician Dr. Cynthia Saliba and her husband.