Regional District looks at dedicated drop-off zone

The Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District has got some idea how much it will cost to put in drop-off bins at the recycling depot.

The Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District has finally got some idea how much it will cost to put in drop-off bins at the recycling depot that would allow residents to drop off their recyclables 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

According to a report prepared by the regional district’s Recycling Operations manager, Tim Des Champ, to prepare a section of the depot’s yard and install two large disposal bins will cost $31,000.

Aside from the $21,000 it would cost to purchase the two bins, an unmanned drop-off area will need to be sectioned off with new fencing, new lighting and they will need to build steps with rails to get up to the bins which will be six-feet-tall. Des Champs is also recommending that motion-activated video surveillance be put in to deter vandalism.  All this would cost $10,000.

On top of that, the drop off area is expected to cost $13,000 a year in hauling costs.

Des Champs also costed out the option of running the drop-off area on a trial basis for six months so that the regional district could gauge the success of the idea before committing to it. The site preparation would still cost $10,000 but the bins could be rented for six month for $6,000.

Neither of these options can move forward until the regional district gets the depot its new balling machine, which is still eight months to a year away. The reason for why it will take so long to get the machine is because the purchase will need to go to tender for several weeks, and once a contract is awarded the machine will need to be built, delivered, the depot will need to be prepared and then the machine will be installed. Only then can they start working on the drop-off area.

There was quite a bit of furor when the regional district decided to reduce the depot’s Saturday hours to save money over a year ago. The regional district revisited the issue during the budgeting process and decided not increase the hours again in favour of working towards a 24/7 drop off zone.

They did discuss the option of temporarily extending the operating hours again until the drop-off zone was ready, this was expected to cost between $4,000 and $6,000. The regional district’s Mainland Solid Waste Advisory Committee has now recommended against that idea.

They reasoned that a temporary increase in hours would lead to confusion or expectations from the public about the operating hours and that the money needed would be better spent on buying the new baler.

There was only one dissenter on the solid waste committee when they voted on the recommendation, Jean Martin, who spearheaded the opposition to the hour cuts.