Expanding recycling is high on town’s agenda in 2011

Recycling collection efforts in the Town of Stettler will expand to residential apartments and commercial businesses by the end of this year to meet the growing demand.

At its regular meeting Jan. 4, town council approved a staff recommendation to reach a goal to collect recyclables from up to 50 per cent of residential apartments by the end of this year and to promote collection service for commercial owners and operators.

“The increasing volume collected reflects that people want to recycle,” said Mayor Dick Richards.

As one of the town’s strategic goals, recycling continues to be a top priority as the town will work with the current recycling contractor Can Pak Environmental with owner Mark Pedersen discussing the program with council.

“We’ve had great response with recycling,” said Pedersen.

“It will grow.”

About 16 to 20 tonnes a month is collected from Stettler curbside pick-up and the town facility collection bins,’

Can-Pak has already started a process to introduce service to commercial and apartment customers, with about 500 apartment units in Stettler, including seniors.

Recently, the contractor has amalgamated four yard bins to all apartments and businesses for $65 per month with 11 businesses and one apartment participating, said Pedersen.

“If you make it simple, people will do it,” said Mayor Richards.

Waste Management also offers a recycle bin program for businesses and apartments and also collects recyclables at schools.

“There is a lot of opportunity for commercial collection,” said Pedersen.

“We want to do it so people don’t pay too much more for the service as many Main Street businesses want recycling collection.”

“Once you get people to buy in, there’s nothing negative after that and negative people always turn around with recycling.”

Town manager Rob Stoutenberg noted that all service providers for recycling collection need to be offered similar opportunities.

Town staff will work with Can-Pak to plan details.

All recycling materials from Stettler are taken by Can-Pak to a sorting facility in Edmonton which remains confidential due to the competitive nature of the industry.

Pedersen consented to take any council members and town staff and the regional waste committee to tour the facility.

Concrete and composting are also growing in demand in Stettler. Recycling and crushing of concrete in 2010 accounted for 17,000 tonnes of material saved from the landfill.

As for composting, Can Pak picks up compost bins in town locations twice a week and the company reports that six to seven tonnes of product per week are brought to the transfer station.