The decision has been made.
At its regular meeting on Tuesday, Lacombe City council passed several resolutions relating to the Solid Waste Roadmap, ending the debate on which recommendations from the original and revised plans would be adopted and how.
Recycling was the fi rst Solid Waste Roadmap item up for discussion. In the original Solid Waste Roadmap plan, the recommendation was to implement a curbside recycling program and close down the Wolf Creek Recycling Depot, which has been prone to abuse. After the summer-long awareness campaign where the City sought feedback from the community, the recommendation changed to keep the depot open and implement a single-stream recycling system where users would not have to separate their recycling, but have it gated and only open during the day while still implementing a curbside recycling program.
Prior to council’s deliberations, Louise Pickett, the woman who spearheaded much of the public’s engagement surrounding the garbage issue, spoke to council. She expressed her desire to have the recycling program pickup be in the alley lanes just as garbage is.
Pickett also told council there was a need to have Wolf Creek Recycling depot remain open in the evenings and weekends, stating that there would only be more abuse if people could only access it during weekday hours.
Councillor Reuben Konnik said that he shared Pickett’s concerns about having a curbside recycling program.
“I’ve said this from day one,” said Konnik. “I’m all in favour of a recycling program provided they stay in the back alleys.”
Konnik also agreed with Pickett that the Wolf Creek Recycling Depot must have evening hours, and suggested having it open from 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. rather than the proposed 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Councillor Wayne Rempel agreed. He took his recommendation a step further, saying that citizens he had spoken to expressed a desire for the Wolf Creek site hours to remain as is, open 24/7.
“If we want to encourage recycling, I think we need to make it easy for people to do,” said Rempel.
As such a motion was passed to implement a blue bin recycling program with pickup to be in the in back alleys where available and to keep the Wolf Creek Recycle Depot open with its existing hours. The system to be reviewed after one year.
Composting was the next issue needing resolution.
Originally, the City had recommended the purchase of a ‘Hot Rot’ system to deal with grass clippings and the other compostable materials accepted by the City as its current method, static piling, was not producing useable compost. After the summer, City changed the recommendation to begin an Request for Proposal (RFP) process to obtain a contract with a third party who could re-use or process material collected from green bins. Also, the recommendation was made for the City to purchase more bins to collect compostable waste and distribute them throughout Lacombe.
Motions were passed following the recommendations made dealing with compost.
First, that the City purchase 50 additional green bins for collecting compostable materials and then review the requirements for the number of bins annually afterwards. Secondly, a motion was passed to begin an RFP process to obtain a contract with a third party who could re-use or process the compost until a better alternative can be found.
The third issue facing council regarding the Solid Waste Roadmap was the one that was received the most attention in all discussions leading up to the meeting earlier this week. That issue was what to do about Lacombe’s dumpster-style garbage bins and whether to change them to smaller roll-out bins as per the original Solid Waste Roadmap recommendation that was reversed after the summer. This time, the issue attracted little discussion. Council voted unanimously to leave the current garbage receptacles as is.