Recycling options available to ICI sector

While providing curbside collection of recyclables for downtown businesses falls outside of the town’s mandate, Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown said yesterday there are other options for Industrial Commercial Institutional (ICI) sector customers.
“There’s ways of doing it. Here in town, anyone can phone Asselin Transportation and Storage and they’ll provide services, but they have to pay,” noted Brown.
Right now, he added, people can go drop off any recycling they want at Asselin’s for free if they bring it out there themselves.
Likewise, they could bring their fibre recyclables to International Bildrite Inc. over in International Falls and get $25 (U.S.) per ton.
Brown reiterated the town is not mandated to provide any ICI recycling.
“If you go to Kenora, they don’t have any contractors that are doing their recycling,” he noted.
“They do it all themselves, but they charge $5 per pickup. They put a bin at someone’s property and they pay $5 whenever the bin was emptied.
“So the town doesn’t pay for it in Kenora, and they don’t pay for it in Fort Frances. There’s no requirement under the Waste Diversion Act to provide ICI pickup,” Brown stressed.
Town facilities see their recycling picked up every two weeks under terms and conditions of the residential contract.
Brown noted it’s the norm for ICI businesses in Ontario to pay for their own recycling, as well as garbage pickup, and that the town only is trying to be like other municipalities in the province.
As reported in Tuesday’s Daily Bulletin, the town has denied two similar requests in the past—one from Fort Frances High School on May 17, 2007 and another from J.W. Walker School on April 25, 2006.
“In order to be consistent and treat all ICI customers equally, the town must respond in a similar fashioned,” noted Brown, adding the town is “no position to enhance recycling collection services for ICI customers.”
Brown said he spoke with BIA chair Russ Ling on the subject and informed him of this.
He also indicated he would assist the BIA in researching the options available for a recycling program, “with the understanding that the town will not be responsible for any costs for the implementation of such a program.”
“We’re going to work with the BIA and try to get them a cost-effective solution. But it’s going to cost something. It’s not going to cost nothing,” Brown remarked.
The town is in its fourth year of a five-year year contract with Asselin, and Brown said the terms of recycling pickup potentially could change after that contract expires.
“One of the things that’s going to be approached, if council can get in better financial shape, is that we’ll expand the services to maybe include ICI pickup.
“But someone will pay for that—it will either be through your taxes or individual property owners,” he stressed. “Say, on the recycling run, you want ICI stuff picked up, you pay a portion, a set fee.”
Meanwhile, Ling said in an interview yesterday that the local business community will continue to look at devising a recycling program that works.
“We can’t stop recycling,” he stressed. “The BIA and the Chamber of Commerce and the town have to get together and figure out some type of solution to this problem.
“I’m a strong believer in recycling; I’m sure most people are,” added Ling. “We just have to find the easiest way possible so that we can do it.”
At its Feb. 18 meeting, town council received a letter from Ling requesting alleyside pickup once a week to all businesses located within the local BIA (100-300 blocks of Scott Street).
The BIA board had polled its membership and found all 84 businesses supportive of a recycling plan for the downtown.
The BIA said it would do its part by purchasing recycling receptacles for the downtown area to encourage use, and provide all of its member businesses with recycling tips and a waste reduction plan to help the whole community.
Town council turned down the request at its meeting Monday night.