Morinville resident seeks answers on recycling program

by Colin Smith

Have you been wondering what happens to your recyclables after the blue bags disappear from the curb?

Morinville resident Linda Lyons did, her curiosity sparked by discussions on social media. So she went ahead and asked about it.

The answer is simple.

“When your recyclables are picked up curbside by Standstone the material is processed at a materials recovery facility where the products are sorted and shipped to market,” Lyons was told by Roseridge Landfill Director Susan Berry i an email response to her questions. “The curbside material does not go to Roseridge.”

Roseridge does provide a recycling service that primarily targets Sturgeon County residents without curbside service.

“The Town offers its residents a great household recycling program and the only things town residents would have to recycle at the landfill would be used oil, electronics, appliances, fridges, batteries, paint, etc.,” Berry stated.

Morinville Public Works Director Claude Valcourt notes that solid waste or garbage and recyclables are handled in two separate processes, although Standstone Enviro-Waste Service Ltd. does them both.

“Our service provider does the manual pick-up, by which staff loads all recyclables into a truck which is taken to their own material recycling facility (MRF),” said Valcourt. “The recyclables are sold from the MRF to that market. The solid waste is picked up by automated trucks and brought to Roseridge.”

As set out in Morinville’s Waste Management Bylaw, homeowners pay $3.81 per month for the service.

In the 2015 budget, the estimated cost for garbage and recycling services is $709,515 while the forecast for 2014 was $666,464. The actual cost of services in 2013 was $604,176.

The Town’s contract with Standstone runs until April 2017.

“There is no limit on the amount of recyclables — blue bag, cardboard — residents can put at the curb to be picked-up,” Valcourt pointed out.

“That alone is awesome in my opinion.”

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Based on what is mainly positive feedback, he feels that the program is successful and that residents are satisfied.

Added Valcourt, “I would also suggest that not all residents are recycling as much as they should, based on reports from Roseridge Waste Management Services Commission, where solid waste – garbage — tonnage numbers are still very high, which seems to suggest the lack of recycling.”

According to Valcourt, once the recyclables are collected by Standstone, the Town no longer has any financial interest in them or how much they are sold for.

Lyons said she was pleased with the reply to her inquiry, which was prompted by expressed concerns that recyclables were being tossed into the landfill along with the garbage.

“I am extremely pleased with the response I received from Susan Berry and the information provided,” she said. “I’m thinking that now is a good time to let the Town of Morinville know that the recycling program is well worth the money we pay every month.”

Lyons said she might approach Public Works to request they improve the brochure describing what is acceptable for the blue bags. She believes a more detailed listing complete with examples would give householders a better idea of what should or shouldn’t be included.

Asked about providing more information to Morinville residents about the recycling program, Town Councillor Rob Ladouceur, who is Council’s appointee to the Roseridge Landfill Commission, declared it a good idea.

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