Questions about recycling in general and Grand Forks’ downtown recycling bins in particular brought out about 15 residents to a meeting with the coordinator of waste management for the regional district.
The group met on Thursday regarding the downtown recycle bins, which have since been removed from their location at the fire hall. Tim Dueck, coordinator of solid waste management for the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB), talked about the reasons for moving the bins to the landfill and answered questions. Organizing the meeting, which was held at Happy Days Restaurant, was resident Lorraine Dick.
“I thought the meeting went very well,” said Dick. “I think Tim answered the questions adequately. I believe we (consumers) have to become more conscientious about our ultimate responsibility for the stuff we buy. That stuff has to go somewhere. It doesn’t just disappear. I hope that out of this meeting comes some changes in our buying practices. After all, we are the 99 per cent…we can and will make changes!”
At the meeting, Dueck explained that virtually every resident in Grand Forks has curbside recycling. He said that since May 2014, the RDKB’s curbside recycling program has been funded by Multi-Materials BC (MMBC). MMBC, however, does not provide funding for unstaffed recycling bins such as the one that was at the fire hall.
Dueck agreed that the meeting went well and he was glad to be able to come out from Trail and answer questions from the public.
“I was surprised by the amount of people, though it’s certainly not unwelcome,” he said to the Gazette. “People were certainly passionate about it. I think a lot of questions were answered. The options that are available for residents are quite suitable. All residents in (the city of) Grand Forks have curbside collection, which has to be the most convenient collection available. We’ll come right to your door.”
Dueck said the only users that might be inconvenienced by the removal of the downtown bins would be small businesses. “There are some small businesses that are within walking distance of that site and there is no doubt they will be affected,” he said. “That was an unusual service for any business anywhere in the province. To have a service that available was amazing and that’s unusual. Now small businesses will be asked to drive four minutes to the landfill.”
The Grand Forks landfill is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 8:30 a.m. until 4 p.m. and Sunday from 12 noon until 4 p.m.
Dueck further explained that through their contract with MMBC, the RDKB provides the staffing and the space for the bins at the landfill, while MMBC collects the material. The curbside program is provided by a contractor (Kettle Valley Waste) and includes garbage and recycling on alternating weeks, and green bins every week.
For recycling, the RDKB recommends curbside collection for paper, cardboard, tin cans and rigid plastic containers. MMBC recycling bins at the landfill are to be used for film plastic, glass and styrofoam containers. Once collected, the material is sent to the Cascade Recovery Depot in Kelowna.