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Prince Rupert curbside recycling program to partially begin

“Soft start” for new program — Niesh
A man operating a forklift moves a bail of recyclables at the North Coast Regional Recycling Depot in Prince Rupert B.C., on Aug. 31, 2021. (Photo: Norman Galimski/The Northern View)

The new curbside recycling program set to start on Sept. 1, for Prince Rupert households has been delayed until January 2022.

“At this point, I do not believe that our program is ready to launch,” Richard Pucci, director of operations and intergovernmental relations for the City of Prince Rupert, stated on Aug. 20.

“In order for it to be successful, it needs to be ready,” Pucci said. However, city households are to start using the new dark grey garbage bins starting Sept 1st.

Councillor Wade Niesh said it is not so much a delay as it is a “soft start.” Only garbage will be collected until January, when the recycling collection will begin.

The city purchased a new high-tech waste collection vehicle in 2020 which is able to sense the materials it collects. new computer chipped garbage and recycling bins, were purchased and delivered to 4,288 households in July. The cost of the bins was mainly covered by a federal grant with a nominal portion being charged on homeowner’s tax bills.

Neish said the new waste collection vehicle is currently in use on garbage routes throughout the city. However, over the next few months, garbage collection on some routes will still be flipped into the truck by hand while on other routes the truck will be used in trials and will mechanically pick up the bins.

“Right now the routes are designed for garbage,” Niesh said.

With future collection involving both garbage and recycling bins, the timing of routes have to be adjusted to account for the extra time at each stop, he said. Recycling will be collected and delivered to the North Coast Recycling Depot.

“It’s business as usual for us. The only thing that we have had to do, [is] we’ve had to put in a truck scale — and that has been completed,” Tim Deschamp, superintendent of North Coast Recycling Depot, said.

The collected recyclables will be brought in to the depot by the city, unsorted, and then shipped out in bails to the Lower Mainland to finish the processing by Green For Life Environmental, another waste management company, he said.

“We don’t want to start it and have issues and then have to go backward,” Niesh said. “It’s just a matter of fine-tuning everything and then going 100 per cent in.”

READ MORE: Big Brother to help with the garbage – computer chipped recycling bins report your bylaw infractions

 Norman Galimski | Journalist 
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