Recycling in Bowden too costly to continue

Recycling is no longer an option for residents in Bowden.

Recycling is no longer an option for residents in Bowden.

The town was forced to shut down its recycling centre on June 30 because of the skyrocketing cost of operating the site.

When the site opened several years ago the town paid roughly $8,000 per year. This year the price tag is an estimated $30,000.

Andy Weiss, town chief administrative officer, said the cost was unreasonable for a town of 1,241 residents. He said the misuse of the centre was driving up the cost.

The facility is actually several recycling containers on a city site where residents could drive up and drop off their recyclables like cardboard and plastics into the bins. The town paid a recycling company to pick up the materials.

“It was turning into a dump as opposed to a recycling centre,” said Weiss. “It was becoming quite an eyesore. The volume of recycling material we were getting was exceeding the site’s capacity.”

The town was charged for the pickup and the weight of the containers. Because the site was not manned at all times, there were individual and commercial businesses drop offs of garbage and recyclables from inside and outside the municipality.

The municipality is investigating other options for recycling in the town including curbside pickup, another recycling site and regional initiatives.

Residents in Bowden who want to recycle must take their recyclables to adjacent municipalities like Red Deer County or Red Deer.

The town held an open house before council voted in June to close the recycling site.

The weekly garbage limits for residents were increased from a three-bag to a five-bag limit because of the closure.

Recently Bowden entered into an agreement with Red Deer to have its municipal waste trucked to the city’s waste management facility.