It’s been over nine months since a May 9 fire burned down the Smithers recycling depot and there’s still no clear end in sight for the Town of Smithers.
That’s after the Town, as well as the Village of Telkwa turned down offers from Recycle BC to truck their recyclables to Terrace.
Smithers deputy mayor Gladys Atrill told The Interior News the decision came down to wanting a more local solution.
“Eventually we’re going to look at waste as product,” she said. “We want to be able to ensure that whatever entrepreneurial opportunities come with goods happens here in the Bulkley Valley.”
Other reasons the Town said no include the distance between the two areas.
The contract between Smithers and Recycle BC maintains it is the Town’s responsibility to pick up recycling at the curb and deliver it to a depot. Providing that drop-off point, however, is the responsibility of Recycle BC.
Discussing the decision to say no Atrill said it was a tough one to make, adding she knows how many people want the situation to be dealt with.
“We are at a bit of a standoff,” she said. “We want to ensure that something happens in town and I’m very hopeful we have a solution this summer season.”
She said the municipalities and Regional District plan to speak with the Ministry of Environment about the issue in the coming weeks.
While the Town’s curbside recycling pickup has been suspended since May 14, residents of either area can bring a number of recyclables to the Smithers/Telkwa Transfer Station (STTS) until a permanent solution has been found.
The STTS, located at 6139 Donaldson Road off of Highway 16, takes recyclable paper and containers, as well as glass, plastic bags and overwrap. It also accepts most foam packaging.