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REPORTING · 22nd October 2015
Walter McFarlane
Kitimat City Council on Monday, October 19th began with a request from Kitimat Understanding the Environment. Peter King, President of K.U.T.E. and Michelle Martins, Vice President of K.U.T.E. stepped up to ask Council to help them purchase a Gemini Baler. King started his presentation with a report on the River Clean Up, which took place in September.

“This year’s river clean-up was amazing. The event was our biggest yet. We had 171 participants coming out to keep the river beautiful. Everybody had a great time. We had a little bit of rain, but it didn’t dampen anyone’s spirits. We collected 190 bags of garbage were collected and safely disposed of, an estimated, 11,500 litres of garbage.”

He explained to Council they found mattresses, 2 cars, a washing machine, many tires, an abundance of car parts and many pop cans.

“We had phenomenal support from the businesses, too many to mention at this time. We had school groups come out, we had the Scouts and Guides come out. We had a lot of families come out,” said King. “We had volunteers come out from the Haisla Community, helping with the River Clean-Up. But the star was Horizon North.”

He explained Horizon North catered the event and everyone said their burgers were the best anyone had ever had.

“We’re looking for fundraising support. We’re looking at buying a refurbished Genie 3000 6E Baler. The installation costs and refurbishing and everything else like that, is estimated at $95,000. We do have some funding but we do fall way short of what we need to do this,” said King.

He expressed they are a not for profit society and they do make money from recycling but will need some money contributed to them. They are coming to other businesses partners as well.

At the moment, they have two vertical balers but can only handle two bales of cardboard per day. He added they are very labour intensive and paper products need to be conditioned first. They are being swamped by cardboard and have to hire extra people and pay overtime to get the work done.

With this new system, the recycling centre could dump the cardboard into a hopper which will feed it into the baler and it does the whole process by itself. This baler would be able to handle the paper products. It will also be powerful enough to bale tin cans and Styrofoam.

“This unit fits very nicely into our facility. It’s above ground where Prince Rupert’s is an in ground, but because it is above ground, we can very easily move it,” said King. “It’s large enough and heavy enough, it doesn’t have to be affixed to the floor. It can sit flat on the floor so there is no modifications.”

It would be able to do eight bales a day so the recycling centre would be able to keep up with their demand and the baler is far more efficient.

Councillor Mary Murphy asked if industry is going to offset the costs. King replied they came to Council first out of curtesy. She asked what the funding to date was. King said it was $40,000, some of which is donations which they have received from corporations but have not been able to utilize. However, if they used this money, they could run short if further costs come up in repairs, maintenance and other costs.

Councillor Edwin Empinado asked how much K.U.T.E. would want from the District of Kitimat. The response was $95,000. King said there are constraints and he did not want to lay a number down. He is asking for the money but he does not expect it.

He said they do a lot for industry, helping them to become good corporate citizens through recycling and a lot of their cardboard comes from industry. He hoped they would help contribute to the baler.

Mayor Phil Germuth asked if there was any market for the vertical balers, or if they planned on keeping them. King replied they planned on keeping one of the vertical balers as a back-up. As for the other one, they may not be able to sell it because there is a large supply of them in the United States as businesses are going under.

There were no further questions so King sat down.

Later in the meeting, Councillor Feldhoff moved to provide K.U.T.E. with $25,000 now and for the situation to be looked at again during the upcoming budgets deliberations.

“The $25,000 would not be expended by the city unless K.U.T.E came up with the remainder. If they did, the $20,000 would be made available to them right away. Given that we’re still a few months away from the budget process, I wanted to ensure that the essences of preapproval and that everything else has to normally wait. I want to give them the opportunity to do some fundraising with the chevrons and the shells and the Rio Tinto and others in the community,” said Feldhoff.

Councillor Mary Murphy expressed she was certain the research on this machine had been done before bringing it to Council. She stated the machine would relieve pressures at the Recycling Depot and was portable. She wanted staff to help get them the appropriate amount.

Councillor Claire Rattee stated she wanted to help them out, but Council had also recently made a motion about a recycling report which Council does not have yet. She wanted more information on recycling.

Mayor Phil Germuth asked where the money would come from. He was told there was extra money in the building fund reserve. There was a lot of projects which did not go ahead due to the strike and there was probably enough money in the fund.

Murphy argued this would alleviate some of the pressures which were in place. She wanted staff to meet with K.U.T.E. for further information. Germuth expressed he wanted to defer this to the budget but liked Feldhoff’s recommendation.

CAO Warren Waycheshen expressed that the staff had met with K.U.T.E. and there were a number of options for recycling. At the moment, their building is working.

Councillor Edwin Empinado made an amendment to the motion to give them $55,000 rather than $25,000. He pointed out the Council banned cardboard from the land fill and they should help them deal with the excess. Murphy seconded it.

However, Councillor Feldhoff wanted to give K.U.T.E. a chance to talk to the other organizations in the community. If they cannot get extra funding, then they can come back to Council. Murphy expressed she wanted to see this baler in place right away. The amendment was called and it was defeated.

The motion for $25,000 was called and carried.
River cleanup.
Comment by David Brown on 22nd October 2015
Walter, Thanks for covering this. In regards to the riverbank cleanup attendance was 171 not 71. When Peter provided the number to council I wasn't sure if Peter paused and said 71 or 171. However we had 171 people help out.