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Recycling drop off at transfer stations to be put on hold

FFGRD board chair asks for patience, sees opportunity for expanded service
Recycling operations at Fraser-Fort George Regional District transfer stations will be temporarily out on hold until a new partnership with Recycle BC takes effect.

A multi-month interruption is looming for recycling drop off at Fraser-Fort George Regional District transfer stations as the service is about to go through a major revamp.

Effective May 31, the contractor who hauls the bins to and from the sites will be unable to continue, staff says in a report to directors.

In the wake, FFGRD directors accepted last Thursday an offer from Recycle BC to establish "principal collection depots" at the Quinn Street Regional Recycling Depot, the  Mackenzie Select Waste Landfill and Regional Transfer Station, and the Valemount Regional Transfer Station.

"A timeline is being developed to determine when these depots would be operational. It is anticipated to be sometime this fall," reads an FFGRD press release issued Thursday.

As well, FFGRD staff is working with Recycle BC to determine what other sites would satisfy the body's criteria for principal and satellite collection depots, "but these sites may not be identified and operational until closer to the end of the year."

The service is currently in place at 16 sites across the FFGRD.

FFGRD board chair Lara Beckett preached patience and suggested something better will emerge in the aftermath.

"For 30 years, we've had recycling services in a partnership within our regional district and now this change is going to be fairly dramatic for communities out there," Beckett said during the directors' meeting last Thursday.

"Partnering with Recycle BC is an opportunity to expand the kind of materials that we will be collecting, that we did not do before, and that's going to be including Styrofoam, soft plastics and glass, which I think is a really nice thing to see and offer for our communities.

"So there will be a gap in recycling collection at all of our transfer stations after May 31st, so bins as we know  them and see them will be gone until we can get this new agreement and collection service set up with Recycle BC.

"We're asking everyone out there to be patient. We have more questions about what the system will look like. We're starting with these three locations and we'll be looking to see what we might do beyond that in the future."

Curbside collection within Prince George will remain unaffected and residents living outside city limits will still be able to use the Vance Road and Hart Highway Return-It Centres.

And cardboard recycling will continue to be up and running in McBride, Mackenzie and Valemount.

"Just asking people for their patience as we put this new system in place and look forward to expanded number of items that we can collect in the future," Beckett added.

Recycle BC is the "appointed stewardship agency" mandated to manage packaging and paper product recycling across the province.

"Partnering with Recycle BC would see a change in how the service is delivered in the RDFFG’s transfer station network, with a reduction of this service at some sites, but an expansion at others," staff says in a report to directors. "Further, it would shift some of the costs of this program from the RDFFG to Recycle BC as is intended under the Recycling Regulation."