Town looking to expand recycling here

Fort Frances will be shopping around for a new recycling service after learning it will cost three times more to stay on board with Koochiching County Environmental Services Department for another year.
But this is good news for residents of Fort Frances because it means they now may be able to recycle a wider variety of materials in the future—a concern made vocal during the town’s implementation of its “bag tag” policy back in the spring.
Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown told council Monday night that he’s looking into following Kenora and Dryden’s lead and having recyclables shipped to Winnipeg-based Metro Recycling to be processed.
In addition to the materials currently acceptable for pickup, the proposed move means residents also would be able to recycle box board (such as cereal boxes), milk cartons, and plastics #3-7—materials accepted by Metro Recycling but not by Koochiching County.
Brown noted there also would be no need for curbside sorting—and the cost that goes with it. Theoretically, for instance, recyclables could be picked up using a garbage truck.
“There will be no limit on how much cardboard and how many magazines you can throw out, as long as it fits in the back of a garbage truck,” said Brown. “No one has to cut out 16”x24” pieces of cardboard anymore.
“It will be more user-friendly.”
Brown said there would be no cost to have the recyclables processed, just to temporarily store them here and then transport them. Taking into account an increase to recycling volume, he estimated the town would see 32 truckloads a year go to Winnipeg.
He also said he’s looking into the possibility of providing recycling pickup for the institutional, commercial, and industrial sectors, which currently do not see such service here.
Coun. Todd Hamilton noted the amount the town would have to pay if it sticks with Koochiching County would skyrocket from $2,600 month to $9,700.
“It’s pretty clear they don’t want us as a customer,” he remarked.
“If we stay with Koochiching, the cost is going to be prohibitive. And we could not afford, in my opinion, to go down that road,” said Coun. Rick Wiedenhoeft.
“Going with Metro Recycling will allow us to expand our recyclables at a reasonable cost.
“I think the people of Fort Frances are going to be quite pleased with this,” he added.
Brown noted Dryden has applied for a grant from Waste Diversion Ontario to help fund its recycling program, and the outcome of that request likely would determine whether Fort Frances also could access funding to help with the costs here.
Also at Monday night’s regular meeting, council:
•received a police services activity report from OPP S/Sgt. Hugh Dennis;
•gave plaques to Fort Frances OPP officers Cst. Dereck McLean and Cst. Caroline Spencer on behalf of Police Services Board chairperson John McTaggart (the plaques were the Ontario Crime Control Commission’s Award of Excellence in Fighting Crime, and was given to them based on their community service work);
•passed a bylaw to approve a contract with the Rainy River District Social Services Administration Board for provision of child care services by the Town of Fort Frances;
•passed a bylaw to regulate the discharge of paintball guns within the boundaries of the Town of Fort Frances;
•received oral reports on division activities by the chairperson of the various executive committees;
•referred a request from the Recreation Advisory Committee—for financial support of a $500 tax credit draw prize (with possibly two lesser $250 prizes) as an incentive for homeowners to complete a survey on recreational programs and activities in Fort Frances—to the Administration and Finance executive committee for a recommendation;
•replied to a request from the Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce for a town representative on its board of directors by appointing Mayor Dan Onichuk;
•referred a request for financial support from Northwestern Ontario Crime Stoppers regarding playground equipment replacement at various town parks to the Administration and Finance executive committee for a recommendation, with input from the Operations and Facilities executive committee;
•referred a request from the Valley Adult Learning Association—for use of Pither’s Point Park for a five-km fundraising run Oct. 2—to the Community Services and Operations and Facilities executive committees for a recommendation; and
•agreed to a request from the Township of North Frontenac for support of its resolution regarding concerns about the future of rural Ontario.