Rubble smolders the day after the fire destroyed the recycling depot. (Earlene Steinhilbert photo)

Recycling to go temporarily to dump

The recycling depot fire is out, but burning questions on the town’s future recycling plans remain

The recycling depot fire is out but, burning questions on the town’s future recycling plans remain.

At town council’s May 14 meeting director of works and operations Roger Smith told council that Recycle BC was recommending the town suspend its bi-weekly curbside recycling collection temporarily.

In the end, the town opted to continue regular recycling collection, with the understanding that, for the time being, materials will have to be put in a landfill.

“Residents can help prevent recyclables from going to the landfill by either storing or taking them directly to the Smithers/Telkwa Transfer Station, as they accept sorted recyclable materials,” a May 15 media release from the town explained.

During the May 14 meeting, Smith added he had received a letter from Recycle BC that acknowledged this situation was not ideal and added that finding a solution to the issue after a May 9 fire burned down large portions of the town’s recycling depot is high priority.

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

Although it was not put to any kind of vote, council, in general, seemed to support the idea that it made sense to allow for continuous service but also give people who want to be diligent the option of saving their recycling until curbside service is restored.

According to Smith, one of the major issues regarding getting recycling up and running again is that the town lost its recycling baler, to which Mayor Taylor Bachrach inquired about renting a portable one.

“That’s what Recycle BC is diligently working on,” said Smith.

However, the issue won’t be over any time soon, Smith noted discussing a potential timeline for a solution. “It’s going to be a while … months and months.”

The direct cause of the fire that burned down large parts of the recycling plant on May 9 is still unknown, however, Bachrach told The Interior News earlier this month that Fire Chief Keith Stecko told him the fire broke out while employees were baling recycling.

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