Town could see new recycling service by July

Given its agreement with the soon-to-be defunct Northwest Ontario Recycle Association will expire at the end of June, Fort Frances is taking a step forward to finding a solution with a joint request for proposals.
“I believe it gives us most of the options we’ve been talking about,” said Operations and Facilities manager Pat Hickerson, who’s been working with administration from Atikokan and Dryden to figure out what Fort Frances should do about recycling.
“The RFP will include a joint proposal, with an option for a separate stand-alone process for each municipality, along with weekly and bi-weekly price options,” he noted.
“If council agrees to proceed with the joint RFP, it will be ready to go by week’s end or sooner, with a closing date of June 18.
“This would allow confirmation of award at the June 24 council meeting, for a start-up date of July 1 for the new collection system,” Hickerson added.
While Dryden has purchased the assets of NORA, and has a separation plant, CAO Bill Naturkach said this doesn’t necessarily mean Fort Frances will agree it’s best to even utilize them.
Some discussion followed during Monday’s committee of the whole meeting as ideas—such as getting a means to compact recyclables and transporting less frequently, and building a depot here—were tossed around, to which Hickerson said, “It’s not a dead issue yet.”
After researching the Environmental Protection Act-Ontario Regulation 101/94, Hickerson determined Fort Frances must adhere to the following guidelines when delivering any recycling service:
•As a municipality with a population over 5,000, the town must operate a “blue box” waste management system;
•Pickups must be at residences, as this is the process that has been used since its inception;
•The town must put forth reasonable effort to ensure waste collected is processed and used;
•Waste products collected must include newsprint, aluminum food or beverage cans, glass bottles and jars, polyethylene terephthalate bottles (plastic bottles), and steel food or beverage cans;
•The town also pick up at least two of the following materials, including aluminum foil, cardboard, boxboard, paperboard, magazines, fine paper, plastic film (like Saran Wrap or plastic grocery bags), telephone directories, and textiles.
(Hickerson noted the town definitely would not be picking up boxboard—most commonly used as cereal boxes—because it’s worthless); and
•Waste must be collected at least half as often as the town collects municipal refuse, meaning Fort Frances could do it on a bi-weekly basis.
The only other two area communities which must deliver recycling service to their residents are Kenora and Sioux Lookout.
The former is going to develop its own recycling system while the latter has signed up with Recool Canada Inc. of Thunder Bay.