The City of Lacombe Council has kicked their curbside recycling program to the curb.
Mayor Grant Creasey said the decision was not an easy one.
“For me it is a public perception issue and I don’t want people to think that Lacombe is not doing everything it its power to be proactive when it comes to being good stewards of the environment,” he said. “We have to weigh that against the fact that our current system is not acceptable.”
The move comes after the City was quoted a 66 per cent increase from the current provide — Environmental 360 Solutions (E360).
E360S put in a bid price of $7.49/dwelling/month, a significant increase (66 per cent) over the City’s budgeted rate of $4.50/dwelling/month.
The move comes as the current three-year contract is set to expire, effective June 1st 2019.
“We need to consider the fact that this was a long-standing contract that recently became due and I would suggest that unfortunately lots of other communities will be faced with the same decision that we are over the next year or two,” Creasey said.
Council was presented the option to sign on to a four-month contract From June 3 until Sept. 27, which administration intended to allow for the City to implement a communication program advising residents of the changes.
Council ultimately choice to end the program immediately and passed another motion directing City administration to, “Monitor the state of the recycling industry and report on opportunities viable to re-establish residential curb side recycling in the City of Lacombe when viable.”
“I don’t want people confusing collecting potentially recyclable materials with items being recycled, because unfortunately those two have not necessarily been in alignment for quite some time,” Creasey said. “That mixed with the fact we are seeing a drastic increase in cost for what I view as less service. Hopefully in time we can come back with a better alternative, but time will tell.”
The increased quote from E360S is partially the result of changes to the global recycling industry as a whole, which has led to China and other countries no longer accepting certain types of materials.
The City of Lacombe will receive the results of their ongoing solid waste review in 2020, which could address the issue of recycling and waste management as a whole.
The solid waste review will allow council have information going forward. The City will continue to monitor best recycling practises in the industry.
“We are doing our utmost to stay on top of emerging technologies and I have some other meetings slated that I am hopeful for,” Creasey said. “Unfortunately these things do take time, but we have our eyes and ears open and we are open to creative solutions.
“Council and City officials do take the protection of our environment seriously. At the same time we need to do that in a fiscally responsible manner.”
There remains recycling options in the community.
“What we discussed here is strictly for the house-to-house residential recycling and pick-up. People can still take a number of items to the recycling depot located on Wolf Creek drive,” Creasey said.