The Fruitvale recycling drop-off centre is closing down on April 27, leaving some homes in the area without a convenient place to drop off their recyclables.
Without the centrally located depot, residents living outside of the curbside pick-up area will have to travel into Trail to get rid of their plastic, glass, paper and more.
Multi Materials BC, the provincial body in charge of recycling, said it can’t reveal the exact addresses around the Beaver Valley curbside pick-up boundaries, but to find out if your home is on the route, visit www.recyclinginbc.ca/rdkb/ for a map and address search function.
Tim Dueck, solid waste management coordinator with the Regional District of the Kootenay Boundary, says the closure will end up saving district taxpayers a significant amount of money.
“We have been paying for the cost of that depot which is in the neighbourhood of $100,000 per year,” he said.
“The cost of operating that depot involves a contracted hauler to collect materials a couple times a week, there is the cost of renting the land, grading and snow removal.
“The cost of operating the curbside collecting service is about $50,000.”
But now, with the closure of the depot, there are some homes that will be without curbside pick-up and without a local drop-off centre.
Area A resident, Stan Skoumal, currently uses the drop-off centre at Liberty Foods in Fruitvale several times a week.
He lives outside the curbside pick-up zone, and is wondering how he will see savings if he has to trek to the landfill with his paper, glass, styrofoam and plastic when the depot closes..
“We go to drop garbage only a couple times a year because we try to recycle everything we can, but we go with our recycling (the drop-off centre) a couple of times a week,” he said, mentioning that almost all the waste his home produces is either recycled or composted.
“For me to drive to the landfill and back would cost me around let’s say around $10 a trip. If I am going to do that around a couple times a month, it comes to around $250 to $300 per year. They say that this will save RDKB taxpayers $50,000. I am spending $250 to $300 per year to go back and forth to the landfill. Where is my savings?”
Dueck says there are around 100 homes, including Skoumal’s, in the Beaver Valley area that aren’t serviced by pick-up contractor Alpine Disposal and Recycling, but those households would have already been making trips to the landfill with their garbage.
“We estimate that there are probably 100 homes or fewer in the Beaver Valley that don’t have curbside service,” he said. “There is really no difference now. Presumably, if they live outside of the pick-up area, they are already pretty good at budgeting their trips to the landfill, but now, when they go, they would be taking their recycling with them as well.”
Last May, the regional district handed over the recycling program controls to Multi-Material BC (MMBC) for the Greater Trail area rather than run it themselves.
So why is the Fruitvale drop-off centre closing almost a year after the switch?
“When the transition (from RDKB-run recycling programs to MMBC administration) happened in May 2014, our board of directors wanted it to be as smooth as possible, saying let’s retain existing service levels until we can see how this all turns out,” said Dueck. “Recently, we felt that nearly everybody who was previously using that depot still had access to a recycling program. Another thing is the issue with unstaffed depots. They have been abused for years. They have been magnets for materials that are not recyclable. And now, the regional district is no longer a player in this.”
The Trail Bottle Depot on Rossland Ave. is also a registered MMBC site, and accepts all program recyclables (styrofoam, plastic bags, film plastic, glass containers, paper, cardboard, newsprint and more), including beverage containers and small appliances.