Bowden town council votes to close recycling centre
Bowden town council voted unanimously on June 25 to close the town’s municipally-supported recycling centre due to abuse of the centre and costs getting too high.
The issue had been simmering for a while, but council unanimously decided it could no longer support such abuse of the centre.
An open house on the topic was held on June 14 and while most of the people that attended the session supported recycling, Mayor Robb Stuart said about 10 per cent of users were ruining it for the 90 per cent that recycled responsibly.
“They liked the recycling part of it, but a lot of it was contaminated, so it had to go to a landfill anyway. The glass was getting junk in it and the tin was getting steel in it and barbecues, so they couldn’t recycle some of it, so if we’re paying for it to go to the landfill anyway, we can do it ourselves cheaper,” he said.
“We were finding more and more abuse of the recycling area, people just throwing junk on the ground. It’s a disaster and it’s right in the centre of our town.”
Stuart said a lot of times, at the end of the month, the garbage at the centre piled up.
The town was to be closing the recycling centre at the end of June. Andy Weiss, the town’s chief administrative officer, is still negotiating an early exit penalty from the three-year agreement with Canadian Waste to provide service. The original agreement was due to expire in December 2013.
As a result of closing the centre, the town also raised the garbage bag limit to five from three, until the town decides what it might do for an alternative, in about three to six months.
“We’re looking at options. The Central Waste Management Commission … they’re looking at other initiatives at the moment, so we’re going to wait and see what they come up with and hopefully they’ll get something together where we can work together (with other) communities,” he said.
Stuart said had the recycling centre worked the way it was supposed to, he would have had no problem with it, despite the fact that costs had increased more than tenfold from $1,800 per year to $24,000. Part of the reason for the increasing cost was that Canadian Waste had increased the number of pickups to two per week from one when the service started, partly due to non-residents using the town facility, thus more recycling material being collected.
Cemetery bylaw updated
An updated cemetery bylaw from 2000 was also ratified by council. When the Bowden Cemetery Association looked at the bylaw, it included definitions such columbariums and vaults for cremains that weren’t included in the old bylaw. Rates were also updated to reflect current costs for burials, with preferential treatment being given to Town of Bowden residents.