Almost two years after fire claimed the old Smithers Recycling Depot, the Town of Smithers is reinstating residential curbside pickup of some recyclable materials.
Resumption of the service is scheduled for April 12 for single stream, loose and clean recycling only. They will not be accepting glass of any kind, refundable bottles and cans or plastic bags.
Smithers mayor Gladys Atrill gave credit to Town staff for doggedly pursuing companies to take on the contract and Mark Fisher (regional district director for Electoral Area A) and Stikine MLA Nathan Cullen for adding pressure on the province and Recycle BC to get the contract set up.
“The key to the restoration in many ways was Blue Bin (Recycling and Disposal), BBRD, finding a company that was interested in doing the work in the first place, and once they were in they put their shoulders to it as well, like can we get a place that’s going to work for us and then we had some fodder when we were talking to the province and ministry of environment,” she said.
“Everything came together for a change, all the right ingredients were there at the same time.”
Blue Bin, a Prince George company, is currently setting up a sorting and baling facility between Telkwa and Smithers just across the highway from the Telkwa Transfer Station.
Telkwa council is scheduled to discuss the village’s curbside pickup program at the next regular council meeting March 9.
Cullen said he hopes this development will lead to policy changes not just for Smithers, but all of the north.
“They’ve (Smithers and Telkwa councils) both been hearing it from constituents… people are unhappy and as a dedicated recycler I share their unhappiness. I love the transfer station, but we pay into this system and it wasn’t working. We’ve still got a bunch of things to do, multi-residences and cardboard for schools and businesses, but I think we’ve got Recycle BC’s attention now to change.”
Fisher said it’s a good development, but is not going to be letting up.
“It’s a first step, people still need to keep the pressure on, there’s a lot of improvement that needs to happen with the system particularly around commercial and that part’s not solved, but we’re happy for now,” he said.