Town still searching for recycling answer

As Fort Frances, as well as every other former member of the Northwest Ontario Recycle Assoication, enter their first week without “blue box” pickup, the question is: How can the town not pick up recyclables when it’s the law in Ontario.
“I guess it’s kind of a grey area,” said Pat Hickerson, manager of Operations & Facilities for the town. “The province is demanding recycling but they’re not giving the funding for that recycling.
“That’s one of the major reasons NORA had to fold.
“Are we in non-compliance—probably. Is the province going to do anything about it—I don’t know,” he added.
Meanwhile, Hickerson said he’s been spending “about all my days” looking into finding a replacement recycling pickup service.
“I’d love to be able to say something next week, but it seems options are falling out as we go along,” he remarked.
While the town declared last week that residents may not see “blue box” pickups for possibly two months, Hickerson assured the public as soon as a solution is found, things will be back on track.
“But there isn’t a solution where I can just pick up the phone and get it done today,” he stressed.
The problem so far is that the town has been unable to find an economically-feasible means of collecting, transporting, and then processing recyclable materials.
At a NORA meeting June 18, neither Fort Frances, Dryden, nor Atikokan had received reasonable responses to a request for proposals.
In the meantime, the town is encouraging residents to compact their recyclables for disposal at the municipal landfill.
Glass still can be dropped off at the bins outside the Public Works building on Fifth Street East since the town recycles this itself by grinding it into asphalt.
NORA became defunct as of June 30. It also has put its assets up for tender, including the processing plant in Dryden. The deadline for tenders is July 5.
Any revenue realized from the sale of the assets will be distributed to NORA’s partners, which, in turn, will use the money to repay their portion of its debt.
NORA agreed to disband in April after it became apparent there was no way to stop its mounting debt, which is in excess of $600,000.