Town nixes BIA request for recycling

In response to a request last month by the local Business Improvement Association, the town will not be providing weekly curbside collection of recyclables for downtown businesses.
According to a report submitted to council last night, Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown indicated 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 [Industrial Commercial Institutional] 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.”
One such option is for downtown businesses to bring their fibre product directly to International Bildrite Inc. over in International Falls for recycling, possibly even receiving some revenue from this exchange.
Ling said in an interview this morning 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 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.
Also at last night’s meeting, council:
•received a presentation from Heather Cram, of consultants Hilderman Thomas Frank and Cram, regarding an active transportation plan for Fort Frances;
•received a 2007 year-end police services activity report from OPP detachment commander Insp. Dave Lucas;
•received a report on the Ontario Good Roads Association conference in Toronto (Feb. 24-27);
•received a report on the J.W. Walker School fire;
•supported a resolution from the Township of Chapple regarding the sustainability of Ontario’s forest communities; and
•passed a bylaw to authorize the town’s participation in additional public transit funding as committed to under the 2007 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review by the Minister of Transportation (the funding is in the amount of $35,997).