Ponoka resident Jeff Ellison spoke to Ponoka staff July 18 during its waste management open house. He would like to see businesses included in the recycling requirements that residents face. Photo by Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye

Ponoka resident seeks businesses included in waste management program

As Ponoka gets closer to changing its recycling program, one resident wants better options

As the Town of Ponoka gets closer to changing its waste management program, one resident wants to see businesses included in the program.

Resident Jeff Ellison attended the town’s waste management open house July 18 and was vocal about his concerns to town staff.

His point is that there doesn’t appear to be any rules for businesses, while residents are required to recycle. “The whole idea behind this was to keep recyclable waste out of the transfer station.”

“Who produces more waste than businesses? Why aren’t they forcing businesses to do this?” asked Ellison.

He clarified that he supports the endeavour on a residential basis, but wants to see everyone in town taking part.

“I’ll even pay $5 more a month to pay for this,” said Ellison.

He suggested that if the town doesn’t put more onus on businesses then it’s not really going to make a large enough dent in waste and recycling efforts.

“I get businesses don’t want to pay more money,” said Ellison, adding that residents also had to pay more money.

“You’re talking about the quantity of recycling that businesses throw in the garbage.”

Speaking to Ellison’s concerns was Chris McKenna, manager of operations for the Town of Ponoka. McKenna said he’s unsure as to why the town’s policy doesn’t include businesses but said he’s researching the question and will have more information for Ellison soon.

When asked about new developments since the last open house, McKenna said there’s excitement for composting.

“From a couple months ago we’re finding out that people really like the idea of the full organic green program,” said McKenna.

This new program would see weekly compost pickups in the summer with the green bins that currently only take yard waste. Should the compost program become accepted, residents will be able to put items such as meat, fruit, eggs, soiled pizza boxes and similar items into the green bins.

“That will divert it from going into the waste transfer station,” said McKenna.

In the winter, green bin pickups could likely change to bi-weekly collections as there will be little to no yard waste at that time.

McKenna has an idea of general costs the town is looking at submissions from businesses, which may change costs to the overall program. There may be more competitive bids on contract.

For residents who couldn’t make the open house, there is still the option to provide feedback online. Visit the the town website at www.ponoka.ca and click the link under ‘Waste and Recycling Program Review’.

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