The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) is considering removing its downtown Grand Forks recycling location. The bins need to be moved from the fire hall rear parking lot to accommodate a new, larger fire truck.
Councillor Neil Krog gave the information as part of his report on the RDKB board, on which he sits as representative for the City of Grand Forks, at the regular council meeting on June 15.
If the bins are removed, residents would then have to use curbside recycling or take their recycling to bins already located at the landfill. Krog said that he is fighting to keep the depot downtown at a different location.
“If we need to relocate it to allow for emergency vehicle access, is there a place downtown we can relocate to, because it is well used,” said Krog. “When you look at the RDKB’s policies regarding unmanned sites it makes sense that if we are going to take it out they would rather just consolidate everything up at the landfill rather than relocate and pay all the extra costs associated.”
Krog said the cost to move the bins to an alternate site would be around $10-20,000 for infrastructure (concrete bin pads, fencing). There would also be an expected annual cost of an estimated $9,600 for maintaining the unmanned site. “I would like to see it (stay) downtown but the way things are going it’s probably not going to exist in the downtown core,” he said.
A staff report from Alan Stanley, general manager of environmental services for the RDKB, stated that the depot does not qualify for Multi Material B.C. (MMBC) subsidies and is operated at the sole expense of the RDKB.
Stanley further stated that due to ongoing and previously document problems with unstaffed waste management sites, the RDKB board adopted a Solid Waste Management Facilities Siting Policy, whose objectives included directing the majority of solid waste facilities customers to staff facilities. Since the policy was adopted, six unstaffed facilities have been closed.
“Considering the close proximity to a staffed facility and the duplication of service, the recycling depot at the Grand Forks Landfill easily meets policy requirements and provides adequate depot service to the Grand Forks area,” said Stanley in the report.
The report recommends that the downtown recycling depot be shifted to the depot at the landfill and that the downtown depot be permanently closed.
Staff from the RDKB will be entering into discussions with staff from the city and will report back to the regional district’s environmental services committee. John MacLean, RDKB chief administrative officer, expects that the matter will come before the RDKB board of directors sometime in the fall.