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REPORTING · 26th May 2010
Walter McFarlane
Under bylaws on the Council Meeting of April 12th, the Commercial Cardboard Ban, adopted by Councillor Mario Feldhoff back in January 2009, was to be read for the first time. He motioned to give it one reading.

Back on January 19th, 2009, the Kitimat City Council was going through the list of priorities at a Committee of the Whole meeting. Feldhoff pointed out there were several motions which had been passed by prior Councils which had not been acted on. The Commercial Cardboard ban was one of them.

This bylaw was delayed further during the Budget Process of 2009. Kitimat Understanding the Environment (K.U.T.E.) presented to Council saying they would stand behind the ban but the price they would receive for the cardboard at the time would not cover the cost of sending out of town.

The motion would be put off further until Council received word the improvement in the market for recycled materials during the Regular Meeting of Council on February 22nd when K.U.T.E. stepped up to present their 2010 budget request. The ban began it’s transition to bylaw on April 12th.

“The staff has suggested that we don’t do three readings yet. I can live with that. It’s been a long time, since 2001 that it was put in place, the motion to not allow commercial cardboard in the landfill,” said Feldhoff.

He reckoned this motion had been put aside for further input. He hoped businesses which were not recycling their cardboard would take advantage of this program taking pressure off of the landfill. The motion carried and the bylaw was read once.

The motion returned to Council on April 19th where it was given 2nd reading without discussion. Hall took a second to invite people who wished to comment on the bylaw.

On May 3rd, Jim Thom took the stand to speak about the Cardboard Ban. “I find this a very nice bylaw,” said Thom. “Maybe it’s time to find a place to put the cardboard first before we decide to ban the stuff. I think your going to find it everywhere.”

He suggested Prince Rupert uses cardboard to make topsoil and sells it to people. He said although K.U.T.E. has wonderful hard working workers, they do not have the capability to pick it up or handle it. He also stated the City Centre Mall was full of cardboard and it was currently being stored in both a storage room and the bowling alley.

He said there would be a cost to small business in the community which came with this and they would be wasting money shipping it out of Canada. “Great idea for going green but it is costing us millions right now for the environment, it not environmentally friendly. One your burning the diesel, burning up tires, you need a place to put it first,” said Thom.

Mayor Joanne Monaghan said he’d be happy with what she had to say next. She said after talking with Pytrade, they were making plans to be recycle the cardboard into brick which could be burned. She said there would be more news on this in a couple of weeks.

The Commercial Cardboard Ban moved to 3rd reading. Feldhoff said there were some details which still had to be worked out. However, this was a bylaw 6 years in the making. There were challenges but he was under the impression by recycling the cardboard through K.U.T.E. it would improve their bottom line.

”I think it’s time to implement this bylaw,” said Feldhoff. There was no further discussion and the bylaw received 3rd reading.

K.U.T.E. send Council a letter for the meeting on the 17th which presented K.U.T.E.’s position. “It has been said that K.U.T.E. can not handle the increase (sic) amount of cardboard if there is a commercial cardboard ban in Kitimat. We have the capacity to handle all the cardboard that is generated in Kitimat. K.U.T.E. has two large balers, an industrial shredder, a forklift and a one ton (sic) cube van,” wrote Barb Hall, president of K.U.T.E. “The Executive of K.U.T.E. is in full support of a commercial cardboard ban and has prepared for the expected volume increases.”

Under bylaws on Monday, May 17th, the District of Kitimat reached final adoption of the Commercial Cardboard ban at the dump, many years in the making. K.UT.E. had sent a letter supporting the ban. There was no discussion. It was called and carried unanimously.

“If you’re a commercial enterprise, you should separate your cardboard from your refuse and it’s up to you to handle it, dispose of it. Kitimat Understanding the Environment is quite happy to take your cardboard,” said Hall.