City to close two recycling depots

Kamloops will lose two of its recycling depots in March of 2013 and look at adding even more curbside disposal options, as fewer residents choose to drive their cardboard and glass to drop-off points around the city.

City council has agreed to close recycling depots on Mission Flats Road and at the Valleyview Arena.

Depots at Ord and Bunker roads will remain in service.

David Duckworth, director of corporate services and community safety, said the amount of recycling coming to the depots has dropped by about 75 per cent since the city introduced curbside recycling and a similar program for multi-family housing.

The depots used to receive 2,500 tonnes of recyclables a year.

They are now getting about 600 tonnes — and staff are expecting that number to decline even further in the coming years.

The shutdown should decrease the cost of collecting recyclables at the depots to $220 per tonne from $443 per tonne, Duckworth said.

The curbside program, by comparison, costs the city $228 per tonne collected.

Of the two depots that will remain open, Duckworth said the Ord Road site is the city’s most-used recycling location, while the Bunker Road depot best serves businesses in Sahali and Aberdeen.

However, Coun. Donovan Cavers worried about the effect the shutdown would have on business owners in Valleyview, who will now have to drive farther to dispose of recyclable waste.

“All the businesses are trying to do the right thing, but they’re only going to go so far out of their way,” he said.

After the motion to close the depots passed, Cavers proposed the city set up a pilot project, offering curbside recycling for businesses, to be included in the 2013 budget.

Mayor Peter Milobar isn’t sure there is a demand from businesses for recycling services from the city.

“With commercial haulers in place, it’s pretty tough to mandate they have to use our service,” he said.

“If there was a demand for this, then either we or someone in the private sector would be doing this.”

Coun. Ken Christian also opposed the idea, saying the city should give the business community time to react first.

Coun. Tina Lange, however, said when she was operating smaller businesses in the city’s downtown, she would have happily paid for recycling pickup.

“It’s a lot of garbage that’s going into our landfills that doesn’t need to and it’s not like they’d be giving it away for free.

“They’d be paying for it like everyone else,” she said.

Cavers’ motion passed with Milobar and councillors Christian and Pat Wallace opposed.


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