Recycling discussions heating up

Lisa
Lisa Goudy
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Many residents express concern over Sobey’s recycling bins

Eight recycling bins have caused a lot of trouble.

Ever since September 2012, the bins have been sitting on the Sobey’s parking lot. On Monday, members of the Fairview Manor Condominium Corporation once again expressed their dislike for the location of the bins to executive committee. The condos are located behind Sobey’s and there are 24 units in the building.

“City dumpsters have been placed close to our building on Sobey’s lot. Garbage is constantly going into our grounds and in the front door of Fairview Manor. The sliding doors on the dumpsters are frequently opened,” said Grace Armstrong, president of the Fairview Manor Condominium Corporation board.

“Each of our condo owners pays full city taxes and we feel we don’t deserve to live in close proximity to a garbage collection area, even if it includes a recycling factor. The collection of garbage and recycling could be relocated to a more suitable area.”

At Monday’s meeting, another condo resident and a representative from Village Ford Lincoln also expressed similar concerns. The residents initially expressed their concern in September 2012.

Executive committee has considered two previous reports on the subject. It was decided to keep the recycling bins at Sobey’s until council makes a decision on a citywide recycling plan.

The provincial government has announced the Multi Material Stewardship Western (MMSW) program for residents effective January 2015. A report from the city clerk/solicitor’s department said the city is reviewing participation in the program.

But Coun. Dawn Luhning said she doesn’t believe the city should be in the recycling business when other businesses can do it.

“We have to move those bins for the fact that we have the number of citizens here,” she said. “We just have to take some responsibility and have some common sense and some realistic options about what we should be recycling in this city.”

Coun. Don Mitchell said there have been many delays in making recycling a priority from the provincial government and from council. Last September, the environment advisory committee recommended the inclusion of recycling as part of budget discussions for 2014, but it was defeated.

“We don’t have an adequate alternative that wouldn’t raise the same kind of issues unless there’s a more effective system for administering bulk recycling or curbside recycling, which would reduce the need for both bins altogether,” he said.

“If we had an effective landfill that had a strategy of separation at the outset and was set up and designed and located, as is the case in other communities … that’s where the bins could be, especially if you had curbside recycling.”

However, Coun. Heather Eby said a decision should be made now instead of added delays.

She made a motion to move the bins to an interim location to High Street West in the lot west of the city complex. It was one of the options suggested and assessed in the Sept. 18, 2012 report. She also said she’d like to see a proper landfill.

“We can’t wait to move the bins based on (the province) because even if we get information in two weeks … there’ll be nothing implemented for at least a year,” said Eby. “The strategy of separation is done well in other communities.”

Her motion was defeated.

Coun. Brian Swanson moved to discontinue the recycling bins by Sept. 30 of this year.

The bins collect largely cardboard, tin cans and paper. Between the bins at Sobey’s and recycling at Pla-Mor Palace, it costs the city $90,000 a year. Swanson said most people who use the Sobey’s recycling bins get there in a vehicle, which burns fossil fuel.

“I realize everybody’s well-intentioned in everything around us, but I would suggest that hauling all that to the landfill would not be a step backwards. It would actually be more environmentally responsible because there would be less resources being burnt up,” said Swanson. “This policy is expensive, ineffective and wasteful.”

His motion was also defeated. The presentations were received and filed.

There is a planning session to discuss recycling scheduled for June 6 and a report with information on the provincial program set to come before executive committee at the June 16 meeting.

Follow Lisa Goudy on Twitter @lisagoudy.

Organizations: Fairview Manor Condominium, Multi Material Stewardship Western, Pla-Mor Palace

Geographic location: Sobey, High Street West

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  • Tracy
    May 27, 2014 - 09:41

    This should have been a not brainer decision long along. Lorries disposal has been doing this recycling for some time now. Follow lead of a smart decision of even a small town like Assiniboia and just have them do it. People who sign up with them....pay their bill can submit it to city hall with their tax payment and perhaps get a full or particial refund for participation.