REPORTING · 17th August 2013
Kitimat City Council had a long discussion about the future of recycling in Kitimat. Multi-Material BC (M.M.B.C.) is changing the way Recycling works in communities and Council needs to decide whether or not they want to buy into the program.
In the back of the room were Barb Hall and Ken Maitland from Kitimat Understanding the Environment (K.U.T.E), Norm Delong from Kitimat Valley Disposal and Andy Towes from Andrew Towse Waste Management.
Deputy CAO Warren Waycheshen delivered a presentation. He explained there was a lot of information to go through in a short time. He thanked Diane Hewlett and Wayne Sussbauer for the assistance in preparing it.
“With the new BC Recycling Regulations, the collection of Packaging and Printed Paper (P.P.P.), […] is going to be transferring from Government and their tax payers to industry and the consumers as of May 19th 2014,” said Waycheshen. “Industry, through M.M.B.C., is going to be fully responsible for their recyclables and sending them through the process for recycling.”
He explained M.M.B.C. is a society incorporated through BC’s Society Act to represent all the producers of packaging and printed paper. It is made up of the producers whose goal is to meet the regulations which say they now have extended responsibilities to look after the end of the line for certain products.
The M.M.B.C. looked at municipalities with curbside recycling and garbage collection and decided to give an incentive for the local governments to gather recycling on their behalf and to up existing services.
“If we decline their offer to this curbside recycling, essentially what can happen is M.M.B.C. can go out and do a Request for proposals (R.F.P.) to the private sector. At that time, there is nothing stopping the municipality from also putting in a bid for doing the curbside collection if they go to an RFP. What you can also do, is in some communities, they said, we don’t want curbside pick-up, we just want a local depot. Some of our options are: We can take their offer, not take their offer and then they’ll put it out for bids, or we can say, we just think we need a local depot and they may or may not go with that recommendation,” said Waycheshen.
He expressed Terrace is taking the proposal, Smithers is still pondering the contractual obligations and It’s not even on the radar in New Hazelton. However, because the timelines are tight, they need to make a decision by September 16th.
Waycheshen explained the consumers will be paying higher costs for products, producers will be paying higher costs and passing the money to collectors who will collect the recycling, process it and recycle it. The Consumers will be responsible for sending it to the collectors.
He explained what can be recycled as a part of this program. The list includes paper, packaging, newsprints, junk mail brochures, steel packaging and lots of different types of plastics. Not included are books and waxed papers.
If Council choses to accept the program, they have until May 19th 2014 to get their containers, bags, education, and be ready for the program to start. If they decline, they agree to work with M.M.B.C. providing them with information.
Waycheshen detailed the options they have for pick up, several containers or one container which contains no glass.
Waycheshen explained that the Council would have to agree to a statement of work for the program. It would lay out conditions and penalties if there are contamination of the recycled materials, labour disruption and many more. This would make the District responsible for educating the public. They would also be putting out M.M.B.C. communications to the public. They also have to monitor service data. If they are not at a satisfactory level, they will be informed by M.M.B.C.
The contract is expected to be a five year contract with potential for a two year extension. The district gets $32 dollars per household per year, but it does not take inflation into account. If the District does not meet the targeted areas for recycling, they can be fined for it.
“If there is an over statement for some of the amounts, this is only for residential curbside, there could be $5000 per incidence. If you deliver materials that are non PPP, you can be ticketed for it, failure to report is higher,” said Waycheshen.
He told Council that if the public does not buy into it, the District could face big fines. In addition, if non paper or packaging or even commercial or industrial recycling gets into the recycling, the District could also be fined. If there is a labour disruption, there are penalties of $5000 a day.
“If life doesn’t go right for you, we get dinged with it,” said Waycheshen.
Mayor Joanne Monaghan ensured this was a Provincial Government initiative from the Environmental Ministry. She was told it was. Waycheshen added if there is more than the target, they can get more incentives as well.
“I feel like I’m in another country. They’re forcing this down my neck and I don’t like it very much,” said Monaghan.
Waycheshen moved on to the next topic, the recycling program is going to try and have a place an M.M.B.C. Depot within 60 Kilometres of each community. He stated M.M.B.C. will pay 60 kilometres mileage but they do not know if it will be enough to cover both fuel and wages.
Monaghan asked if M.M.B.C. was looking at the whole Province or just the lower mainland. Waycheshen explained that M.M.B.C. expected this to run Province wide. Feldhoff wanted to know how a large cardboard box, from a couch or TV, would fit in a bin.
Waycheshen added it was difficult to make this decision when they do not know where the depot is, as they could load a truck, spend 3 hours on the road to Terrace and back and would have to take wages into consideration.
“Personally, we’re really not trying to look at it from a negative point of view but we saw so many issues that could cost a lot, we wanted to make sure everybody was aware of all the issues too,” said Waycheshen.
If the service is provided by a private service, the contractor still has to follow the conditions which would be put upon the District if they take it on. The presentation concluded with cool pictures of trucks.
Councillor Mario Feldhoff needed to know more about the vehicles which are being considered for transporting the material and who would pay for the bins. Delong replied by telling him there are automatic and manual systems. For the manual system the carts in which the recycling materials would be placed would run about $50.
“Here, we’re in what we call bear aware so we have to have bear proof [bins] with auto release so when we come along to tip them, we don’t have to unlatch a whole lot of things or it would take longer and we’d never get it done. They run anywhere from $150 – $220 for us to do them,” said Delong.
He added if they need to go to a segregated truck, they need new trucks with segregated compartments and expect they can receive more of one product type than another so the truck might take half a load to the depot which can be up to 60 km awayl.
Maitland got up to talk about what K.U.T.E. will be handling after this transition. They will be taking care of the commercial cardboard, electronics, small appliances, batteries, light bulbs and much more. “There’s going to be a huge volume of material left after and there are no provisions to handle those within this program,” said Maitland.
Feldhoff asked Maitland what he thinks the proper path for Council is. Maitland said this program would reduce the sorting of residential donations which comes to K.U.T.E mixed together. The sorting takes a significant amount of time.
However, he expressed there are a lot of questions which Council does not have answers for and the Council would be signing a contract blindly for up to 7 years. “There are some big risks there if you take it as they proposed it,” said Maitland.
Towse asked Council if there was a residential cardboard ban. He was told it has been passed by Council but has not gone forward to a bylaw. He said he was concerned about the contamination fines because people do not seem to do what they are told to do and the $5000 fine is quite steep.
Towse explained his recycling program at the landfill. Tires are taken away to be recycled. Steel is recycled as well. “One of the big things for me is plastics. They amount of plastics that goes into the landfill is just mind boggling some times,” said Towse.
He added there is commercial recycling of plastic in Terrace. He pointed out the incentive adds 75 cents a week per house for communities to take this on.
Monaghan wanted to put off any big decisions until all the Councillors were present, as two of the Councillors, Scott and Empinado could not attend the meeting.
Feldhoff wanted to know more about how the depot would work. He was told a depot would automatically sort the garbage but it would require a large volume. Maitland told them the sale of the recycled material would lead to an incentive to have the depot but it would take 25% off of the money for contamination. He was also told there was not a building in Kitimat which was big enough to handle the storage.
Councillor Phil Germuth asked what the people who were present thought Council should do. Delong told Council his people ran all the revenue and it would give them about $136,000. However, they need to look at the cost of bags, fuel, wages and a new truck.
“There is no way I could bid on it if the revenue was only going to be $136,800. To be honest, I wouldn’t want it. One of the other things I think we have to do as a community and as Council, we have to look at it and say, do we want to have a little more say in it? If we’re part of the solution, like we’re running the depot or doing the collection, at least we have something to say as a community. If we let them run it and then put it out for the bids, I don’t know what we’re going to get to say, our hands would really be tied then,” said Delong.
He stated if the depot is in Terrace and they only pay 60km, who is going to pay the guy transporting the material to get home again.
Maitland explained they only get paid for the material they ship. Handling the volume and the equipment is all capital which would need to come out of the community resources. There is a huge amount of operating costs to run a depot and a lot of record keeping.
Towse said it would take a lot of money to run and this fact was obvious.
Councillor Mary Murphy suggested they look outside the box in looking for ways to prolong the life of the landfill. Delong suggested if people composted their own grass and mulch their yard waste, it would extend the life of the land fill. Maitland suggested a big cost was the trucking cost. He suggested a barge service would create an impact on bringing things into the community, as well as out of the community.
Waycheshen stated this could be one thing that would work for some communities, or perhaps put it to the competitive process. Monaghan thanked the guests for coming and stated this will come up at a later meeting.
curb pick up / Value Village
Comment by theGal on 23rd August 2013
Living in Kitimat, roadside pickup is going to be essential. With the geographic area we live in, Kitimat is spread out and growing. We are still throwing recyclables into the garbage due to the lack of accessibility to the main depot in the Service Centre. Changing the existing KUTE into the main recycling plant and access to a main port has potential. Structures in other communities like Kelowna have been successful with there recycling models. Now you say Whats up with Value Village...They are one of the leading recyclers of textiles taking 50 billion pounds of clothing and textiles out of landfills and shipping it to India and Asia to be recycled yearly. One centrally located in Terrace could be an idea. Food for thought. Thinking out of the box and getting more public feedback could be a start. If it wasnt for the KitimatDaily website, I would be oblivious on the topics for the future of my community.