New recycling units running

Duane Hicks

New upgrades to the town’s recycling transfer station should mean more efficiency, more money saved, and less mess for Public Works.
Two new stationary compactor units with properly-sized hoppers and four 40-cubic-yard roll-off containers now are operational at the Sixth Street West depot.
Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown said the large bins at the depot are being taken out of service this week, and all depot users instead will deposit their recyclables into one compactor unit.
“We want to promote recycling, we want to make it easy for people to do it,” Brown noted during a demonstration Monday morning.
Brown stressed the town pays to provide bi-weekly curbside “blue box” pickup for it residents and strongly urged the public to use that means to get rid of their recyclables.
But because the town fully supports recycling and waste diversion, he added, it is continuing to run the recycling depot as an alternative for residents who, for instance, are going out of town for a month and wouldn’t be able to put out their “blue box” on their given day.
This is how the new system works:
•take the ramp up to the new compactor unit;
•unlatch the compactor door and open it;
•dump your recyclables into the compactor (break down cardboard boxes when possible); and
•shut the door and make sure it’s locked.
The compactor unit is equipped with cameras inside and out so town staff can see what is being put into the compactor and when it is full.
When the five-cubic-yard hopper in the compactor unit is getting full, an operator either at Public Works or at the airport will activate the compactor remotely.
There will be 16-hour a day coverage. If the compactor fills up overnight, it will be activated first thing in the morning.
When activated, the compactor will crush the recyclables and feed them into an adjacent container. Once the container is full, it will be swapped out for an empty one.
Once two of the containers are full, the town will call a contractor to take them to the Emterra Group recycling facility in Winnipeg.
The other two containers would remain here to be used.
Each container is estimated to hold at least eight tonnes (and possibly up to 10 tonnes) of recyclables, said Brown, adding he estimates four containers will go out each month.
The opening to the compactor unit is roughly 38” x 45,” leaving plenty of room for people to insert their recyclables.
That said, users should be breaking down their cardboard boxes when they drop them off.
Signage will be posted near the compactor, clearly indicating what recyclables can and can’t be put into the compactor.
Brown said safety is not a concern. The compactor will be activated strictly by town staff and it won’t be activated if the door is open.
Cameras will let them see if anyone, by accident, is in the hopper of the compactor.
Brown noted he will have a staff member manning the new compactor for the next week to get the public used to it.
The recycling depot also has a second compactor unit which is being used exclusively for the recyclables picked up during the bi-weekly curbside collection.
The public does not have access to this compactor unit, which is located further back in the Public Works yard.
The truck which collects the “blue box” items every two weeks will just drive up to the unit and dump the recyclables into its hopper.
It will crush and feed the items into a container, just like the compactor the public uses.
Prior to now, the truck dumped the recyclables into a pile in the transfer station garage (this is the same place recyclables from the four depot bins have gone, as well).
Public Works staff would have to use a front-end loader to load the recyclables into a walking floor trailer, which then was shipped away for processing.
Under the new system, the manpower and equipment (loader) used to load the walking floor trailer, as well as emptying the four drop-off bins on a regular basis, will be freed up to do other maintenance tasks for the town, noted Brown.
It also should mean less mess for Public Works to clean up at the recycling depot, where overflowing bins have been a common sight each Monday morning.
“This should alleviate that,” said Brown.
All of this is expected to save the town $63,588 a year.
The total project cost is $218,275, with nearly half being paid for by Stewardship Ontario’s Continuous Improvement Fund (CIF).
The town will pay for its portion using federal gas tax revenues it previously had received from the government.