Region will see new curbside recycling system by fall of 2018

Kathy Bockus/Courier The Southwest New Brunswick Service Commission intends to adopt a new method of curbside recycling beginning in the fall of 2018. Commission member Wade Greenlaw, left, and board chair show the type of bin which will be provided to households in the region.

Hemlock Knoll – They’re big, they’re blue, and they’re coming to a curb near you.

The region served by the Southwest New Brunswick Service Commission intends to transition to curb side recycling, utilizing individual, large blue bins for every household, beginning in the fall of 2018.

It has been determined by the commission’s adhoc recycling review committee, the implementation of a curbside recycling system will save money, or at least be “cost neutral”, and will also extend the life of the landfill site at Hemlock Knoll.

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At a special meeting recently, members of the SNBSC unanimously approved the two motions associated with recycling, in preparation for 2018 budget discussions.
The first motion was to adopt the curbside system of recycling to replace the large recycling bins currently in use.

The second motion was to allocate $1.1 million in the SNBSC’s 2018 draft budget from capital reserve funds, to cover the associated costs with implementing the new system.
There are no exact figures available yet on what the new recycling method will cost, but more financial information is expected to be available at the next regular SNBSC board meeting, slated for Thursday, Oct. 26, at 6 p.m. at Paturel Room at Huntsman Marine Science Centre, in Saint Andrews.

The new recycling system will provide the large blue bins at no cost to taxpayers.
This method will not require any sorting or bags said commission chair Joyce Wright.
“It will expand what we are able to recycle,” Wright stated, noting residents can place various types of recyclables, such as plastic and papers – but no bottles – in the curbside blue bins.

Wade Greenlaw, chair of the LSD of Dufferin, is also the chair of the commission’s recycling review committee.
He said the new system of recycling will not be mandatory.
“Everybody will get provided one of these,” he said, patting the large, blue recycling bin beside him. “We encourage everyone to do it, but nobody’s going to police it.”
“There’s no garbage police,” interjected Wright with a smile.

Wright said the areas which have adopted the curbside recycling system have seen “a great decrease – anywhere from two per cent diversion, to 15 per cent diversion or recyclables – in a very short time.

In the motion to adopt the new recycling method, Greenlaw stated the new system will see the current recycling building or other commission infrastructure becoming a transfer station for recyclable materials which will be shipped unsorted to either Quebec or to some other cost-effective location.

Frank Tenhave, the SNBSC’s executive director, said public information and education on the new system will begin sometime at the beginning of the new year.
Greenlaw stated there were public consultation sessions during the committee’s review process, noting in some locations the sessions were well attended; in others they weren’t.

He noted most people tend not to go to the sessions, and thereby don’t get information available. He said residents then say “wait a minute, you didn’t tell me up front.”
Greenlaw said there were no specific financial details presented at those consultation meetings, but information was provided on the direction the commission wanted to take to save money, simplify the process, and reduce the risk of capital expenditures on infrastructure.

Wright said in making its proposal the committee did take into account various recycling approaches and options, and what other regions had done.

“This one was what made the most sense as far as infrastructure, as far as cost effectiveness,” said Wright.

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Kathy Bockus
Journalist Kathy Bockus is based in St. Stephen and has worked for The Saint Croix Courier as a general news reporter and feature writer for the past 15 years. She began her lengthy newspaper career in 1974 with a daily in Saint John. Bockus says she always jokes being a reporter is a licence to be nosey, but firmly believes that everyone has a story to tell. She can be contacted at 321-0759.