City cleaning up its recycling act

Red Deer wants to tidy up recycling. Over-filled recycling bins and mess at the recycling drop-off site on 53rd Avenue near Cannery Row Bingo continues to annoy users.

Anita Campton makes a delivery to the recycling depot north of the Cannery Row Bingo hall on Friday afternoon.

Anita Campton makes a delivery to the recycling depot north of the Cannery Row Bingo hall on Friday afternoon.

Red Deer wants to tidy up recycling.

Over-filled recycling bins and mess at the recycling drop-off site on 53rd Avenue near Cannery Row Bingo continues to annoy users.

Recycler Janet Will said something has to be done.

“It is disgusting. It is always full. It’s been like that for 10 years,” Will said after squeezing her recycling into bins at the site on Friday morning.

She said the bins were over-flowing, with piles of tin cans and newspapers littering the ground as well as trash, including two discarded vacuum cleaners.

“I’m sure the cans will be blowing around in the wind.”

Will said the city needs more bins and suggests the site be staffed.

Mary Curtis, the city’s waste management technical specialist, said the mess has been an ongoing problem that the city is going to address through a new waste collection contract.

“We are looking at two sites now. We’re leaning towards the Waste Management Facility for one and for the second one we’re looking at a more secure site,” Curtis said.

The deadline for tenders for the city’s waste management services, including managing recycling depots, is Thursday.

Right now it costs people to take recycling to the Waste Management Facility where onsite staff keep the area clean. The new contract would maintain recycling in the fenced facility, but it would be free.

Another location will be determined by the city and whoever is awarded the contract. It will be fenced and the city will determine the number of bins, Curtis said.

“This time we have more control if things don’t go right for us.”

The current contract just requires the contractor to provide a site, to empty full bins daily, and clean the site of other garbage people dump there. The contract with Waste Services Inc., expires Oct. 31. No one was available to talk to the Advocate on Friday.

The new contract will be for five years with provisions to extend it for two more years.

Curtis said some of the mess is due to people illegally dumping materials and extra users.

“It’s suppose to be the back-up to the blue boxes but we get people outside the city using the facility.”

Will admitted she lives in Red Deer County. She said the closest recycling centre to her home is about a half hour away and preferred the city depot.

“I think the important thing is that we recycle.”

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