5 Star recycling centre now open

6800 square feet of recycling, but no moose heads allowed.

The new 5 Star recycling centre will be

open for business Tuesday.

The bright and spacious facility will be the hub of all recycling needs including batteries, light bulbs, small appliances and electronics, and of course, bottles and juice packs.

The $1 million, 6,800 square-foot facility will offer a space for customers to sort their cans and bottles before returning it for a refund. It also has a wash station to scrub that sticky stale beer off your hands afterwards.

Earnie Harding and Art Mortensen, directors of the Smithers and Area Recycling Society, explained that the main reason for the move was a lack of space. The old warehouse was hard to keep clean, Harding explained, the new facility has “less dirt and more light.”

“The volume [of recyclables] has doubled in the last 5 years since we’ve owned the bottle depot,” Mortensen said.

Harding said that this new facility will enable a greater customer quality and will ultimately be able to hold more volume. 1,680 beer and pop cans can fit into one large bag enabling the crew to pack away more recyclables without taking up extra space.

Mortensen and Harding are a bit nervous about being the new home of the curbside recycling program because they are unsure of what, and how much to expect.

“It will definitely be a learning curve,” Harding said.

“It will be a big change for us,” added Mortensen.

Over the years, Harding and Mortensen said they have seen some strange things recycled including two dead dogs and a moose head.

“It’s an easy way to get rid of it I guess,” Harding said.

The facility is entirely paid by the Smithers and Area Recycling Society, but due to its 5 Star rating the team can expect up to $10,000 annually from Encorp for maintenance and upkeep.

High Road Services, another society that Harding and Mortensen direct, will be involved as well offering positions to those with special needs in commercial shredding.

The facility will be home to the Smithers and Area Recycling Society, as well as other businesses and even a family. There will be a modern three bedroom apartment for rent above the facility.