Members of Ponoka County council are clearly getting tired of having to discuss a pair of issues that keep constantly resurfacing.
The topics of the recycling bins at the county’s Ponoka transfer station along with the continuing saga regarding Cutting Edge Tire Recycling made their return to the council chamber at their meeting on Tuesday, May 24, leaving the reeve and councillors wondering if they will ever stop finding the issues on their meeting agendas.
On the tire front, county’s Chief Administrative Officer Charlie Cutforth stated there has been a new development, though unfortunately it may just be part of the shell game being played by the company.
“(The county) was notified that Cutting Edge was sold to a company called Aboriginal Power Corporation,” Cutforth explained to council.
“However, upon further investigation, it was found that both companies have the same B.C. mailing address and the same owner.”
He went on to further explain that, in the notice, the new company hoped to establish a new relationship and also requested a development permit for a building that is currently partially constructed on the property.
“We also responded with a letter that said it’s also our hope for an improved relationship and that no permit would be issued until three conditions are met – substantial progress is made on removal of the tires, especially from county property, a bond is provided and that they provide proof of licensing approval by the regulator,” Cutforth added.
“We haven’t gotten a response yet and, apparently, the reason for the permit request is because the building has been paid for and the contractor is waiting to finish it, but there was never any permit issued at all. So, we are continuing to monitor the situation.”
He also stated the county will be meeting with their legal representation shortly to discuss the various options and what would be involved should a stop work and removal order is required. Council was also informed that a fire inspection has been done and there are a number of items that need to be immediately rectified.
Councillor Doug Weir then brought up a concern that’s been expressed by some residents about the state of the recycling area at the transfer station in Ponoka, which was started earlier this year and has been a resounding success.
It’s that success, though, which has become part of the problem, with Weir noting there is so much cardboard that he was wondering if there are enough containers and if the county should be providing more access.
Cutforth stated that administration is aware of the issue, that is more about people not properly breaking down the cardboard so that it fits easier into the containers at the site. There are presently 16 bins for various types of recycling that are available during the two days per week the transfer station is open and are emptied every two weeks.
Aside from the cardboard ended up on the ground, Cutforth explained there are a few other problems driving the issue – that being the huge success of the recycling program along with non-county residents plus some businesses dropping off their recycling at the station.
“It’s one of those things that sounds great, but is not without its problems,” he said.
“We have some commercial businesses using it to drop off cardboard and some of those operate in town, but live in the county. And, while some of the problem is garbage being dumped in with the recycling, the site isn’t just being used by county residents either.”
There was a suggestion made that perhaps the county should hire someone to monitor the recycling area specifically, but Cutforth believes there is another step they could take first that would be more cost effective.
“We should first try moving to a weekly pick up that will cost us slightly more, but will be less than paying someone to look after it. Since the program is in its infancy, if dealing with it this way will solve the problem, then great,” he said.
Council approved that suggestion along with better educating the residents using the site on to properly break down the cardboard.