Regional Recycling Transfer Station Closure
Regional Recycling Transfer Station Closure
September 30, 2019
The North Coast Regional District (NCRD) provides valuable recycling services to its residents living in the mainland solid waste service area, inclusive of the City of Prince Rupert, District of Port Edward, Electoral Areas A and C and, through service agreement, area First Nations.
Throughout 2014, the NCRD, used both conditional and federal Gas Tax fund to construct the regional recycling transfer station located at 251 Kaien Road. The recycling transfer station opened to the public on November 4th of that same year. At that time, the transfer station was intended to provide residents with 24/7 access to recycling material drop-off, while increasing the overall volume of material collected and reducing the overall operational cost to collect materials.
Since the transfer station’s opening in 2014, the NCRD has struggled to address material overflow and abandonment issues at the site. To address these issues, in 2016, the regional recycling depot’s hours of operation were expanded to include a four (4) hour shift on Sundays and on Boxing Day. Since that time, the NCRD has continued to fund $15,000, annually, to increased operational hours to accommodate 24/7 access to recycling material drop-off for residents
While the majority of residents drop-off recyclable material consistent with NCRD collection programs, there are a number of users who continue to abandon waste materials such as household garbage, large scrap metal, autobody parts, and sanitary and biohazardous waste at the transfer station. This is particularly concerning given that the abandonment of these waste materials at the transfer station pose significant risk to both equipment and employee safety.
In addition to operational challenges, in 2014, provincial regulatory changes established Recycle BC, a not-for-profit organization that manages residential packaging and paper products in B.C. Under the new regulatory framework, Recycle BC collects materials from local government partners which are ultimately sold to end markets and for processing into new products. Under the Recycle BC program, residential packaging and printed products must be collected at through residential curbside programs or through staff collection sites. Because the transfer station is an unstaffed collection site, it does not comply with current provincial regulation for collection of those materials.
Given the overflow, abandonment, compliance and financial issues that have been outlined, and following careful consideration, the NCRD has made the difficult decision to close the regional recycling transfer station, effective October 20, 2019, and remove the four (4) hour Sunday shift indefinitely. The NCRD will increase the regional recycling depot’s hours of operation from four (4) to eight (8) hours on Saturdays, resulting in the regional recycling depot opening from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
“Employee safety is paramount to us at the NCRD. While the decision to close the transfer station has been difficult, ultimately, we cannot, in good conscience, subject our employees to daily safety risks caused by reckless abandonment of waste materials”, said Barry Pages, Chair of the NCRD.
Recognizing residents’ need for access to ameliorated recycling services, through the Regional Recycling Advisory Committee, which was established to advise on regional recycling services and includes members from the NCRD, the City of Prince Rupert, the District of Port Edward and local environmental representatives, the NCRD continues to work with all stakeholders to bring residential curbside recycling to Prince Rupert.
Des Nobels, Chair of the Regional Recycling Advisory Committee, has stated “While the news of the transfer station closure is discouraging, the Regional Recycling Advisory Committee continues to work with the City of Prince Rupert, Recycle BC and other stakeholders to implement a successful curbside residential collection program for the community in the near future.”
The NCRD would like to kindly remind residents not to abandon materials at the transfer station once it has been closed. The NCRD will continue to monitor abandonment issues at the closed transfer station site and will report violations to the RCMP to ensure that roadways and adjacent properties remain clean, and that residents abandoning waste materials are prosecuted accordingly.
- North Coast Regional District: www.ncrdbc.com
- Recycle BC: www.recyclebc.ca
- Regional Recycling Advisory Committee: www.ncrdbc.com/sites/default/files/uploads/bylaws/588._regional_recycling_advisory_committee.pdf
For more information contact Daniel Fish, Chief Administrative Officer for the North Coast Regional District at 250.624.2002, extension 8 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.