The RDEK board has directed staff negotiate an agreement with Recycle BC to establish and operate Recycle BC depots at six of its staffed locations.
“Recycle BC has reached out to see if the RDEK would be interested in becoming a contracted collection partner. As a Board we are looking at options to create value for our taxpayers and increase the access to additional recycling opportunities,” explains RDEK Board Chair Rob Gay.
The only Recycle BC depot in the region is at the Cranbrook Bottle Depot.
RDEK Environmental Services Manager Kevin Paterson says there are a number of products that are accepted in the Recycle BC program that are not accepted in the yellow bins.
“There are separate bins at these Recycle BC depots for the collection of items like Styrofoam, all plastics and film, aluminum foil and containers, tetra paks and cartons,” said Paterson.
In addition to providing more regional access to these recycling opportunities, becoming a contracted collection depot would potentially result in a long-term reduction in costs to taxpayers as the RDEK would be compensated for the recyclables collected at its depots.
“Recycle BC does not recognize our yellow bin program, so in order to qualify for some of the financial incentives and expand the region’s access to recycling, we need to operate depots that meet their specifications,” Paterson continued.
The vision of an agreement with Recycle BC would include recycle depots at Cranbrook, Kimberley, Elkford, Sparwood and Fernie Transfer Stations, as well as the Columbia Valley Landfill.
“We would still have our yellow bin program, this would just be a change at these six staffed sites to introduce this new model as a way to enhance our recycling program,” explains Paterson.
As negotiations have not yet started, it is too early to determine whether Recycle BC will entertain six depots or what the specifics of the system might look like. Any changes to the system will be clearly communicated prior to implementation.