Smithers and Telkwa suspend curbside recycling pickup

Towns encourage residents to hold onto recyclables or to take them directly to the transfer station

Both Smithers and Telkwa have suspended curbside pickup of recycling following a fire May 9 that destroyed the recycling depot.

The Town of Smithers issued a press release yesterday announcing it had reversed a previous decision to continue the pickup with the understanding those recyclables would be taken to the landfill until processing could be resumed.

READ MORE: Recycling to go temporarily to dump

“We recognize this is not an ideal situation but the Town of Smithers is committed to working with Recycle BC to ensure a solution is found within the upcoming weeks and that the Town can resume the collection of recyclables,” the release stated.

At its regular meeting May 28, Telkwa council passed its own motion to suspend curbside pickup.

Coun. Rick Fuerst, who was acting in the capacity of deputy mayor at the meeting, said it just didn’t make sense to continue having separate pickup for garbage and recycling in the interim.

“It’s unfortunate that [the fire] happened, but at the end of the day we still have to look after the efficiencies of garbage and recycling collection,” he said. “If this stuff is all ending up in the landfill anyway, maybe it’s time that we have a look and talk to the community members and say, ‘it’s unfortunate but this might be the way we have to go until we get this stuff sorted out’.”

Telkwa council also resolved to put out the word to residents encouraging them to either save their recycling or take it to the Smithers/Telkwa Transfer Station themselves.

In its press release, the Town of Smithers did the same.

“Residents are encouraged to store recyclables or to take them directly to the Smithers/Telkwa Transfer Station, as they accept sorted recyclable materials,” it said.

At the Smithers town council meeting May 14, Roger Smith, director of works and operations said he had received a letter from Recycle BC saying resuming recycable processing in the Bulkley Valley is a priority.

“This topic is top of the list at the moment and a variety of scenarios are being reviewed,” said Smith.

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