Since the beginning of the month, the weekly garbage collectors and municipal landfill are no longer accepting recyclable cardboard and boxboard. Further information can be found by clicking here.
At the regular meeting of Council on Tuesday, September 2nd, Councillor Edwin Empinado made a motion to have staff research options for residential cardboard pick up for seniors and persons with disabilities in Kitimat who do not have the means to transport it to be recycled.
“On July 8th, we gave three readings and adopted the banning of cardboards from residential into our dump site and further instructed staff to have an education to all residents from July 21st to September 1st. We have comments, I received calls from persons with disabilities who don’t have the capability of transporting cardboard to the recycling centre or to KUTE,” said Empinado.
Councillor Mary Murphy stated this has come before Council before and she is concerned for all the citizens who cannot take their recycling across the bridge. She told Council she had been under the impression and was led to believe there were several places within the community where people could drop off cardboard. She has since been told this is not true.
“I believe the motion is well intentioned but I believe that Kitimat is a caring community where a person in need can talk to family, friends and neighbours to get their groceries, get to appointments, get their lawn cut, even it needs to be contracted out to students and what have you and I believe, with a little bit of effort, get their recyclables, bottles and cardboard to the appropriate recycling facilties,” said Feldhoff.
He stated there were motions in place to do further work on the depot which have not moved forward. They are responding to MMBC. He expressed more needs to be done.
“The city doesn’t need to be the answer for everything. People can work this out. They work out other things in life and, in some cases, it might require a little more effort than in others, but I believe, the city doesn’t need to be the answer to getting materials to the recycling depot,” said Feldhoff.
Monaghan reminded Feldhoff that the motion was just to ask staff to research options. It does not say what the options are. Feldhoff pointed out that having staff research options would take their time and energy and they have a backlog of other motions which Council is waiting for a response too.
Councillor Rob Goffinet stated that researching options will not be onerous for staff to do and there could be options to publicize the need within Kitimat and encourage service groups, the seniors centre churches, family members and neighbours to look out for people who need help getting their cardboard across the river.
Councillor Phil Germuth stated he would be voting against the motion if the District of Kitimat was expected to facilitate or pay for this. He would vote in favour if it was to look at other ways.
Empinado stated the Council has created other options for how seniors use the facilities or transportation. He wanted staff to present them to them.
Murphy stated the item has not been flagged as a priority by the senior citizens, although better at homes has volunteers who could be utilized to do this for the seniors in the community. There was an option to expand it for persons with disabilities.
“I do think we need to sit down as a Council and discuss once again, other options so that people don’t need to worry about getting cardboard across the bridge,” said Murphy.
Empinado stated there are seniors who live alone or are waiting for beds in an institution. There are people with disabilities who do not have transportation. He said Kitimat is a caring community and the Council needs to consider options so they could bring cardboard to the recycling depot.
The motion was called and carried.