Recycling question remains unanswered for county residents

With the recent change in town household waste collection, Ponoka County residents have been left out of the loop on recycling.

With the recent change in town household waste collection, Ponoka County residents have been left out of the loop when it comes to recycling.

That has seen several county councillors receive calls since the beginning of the month regarding what is going to happen and how they can continue to keep helping the environment and not just simply trash or burn items.

Councillors Bryce Liddle and Doug Weir as well as Reeve Paul McLauchlin all brought up the topic at the county council meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 12. However, after some discussion, council was left with more questions and even fewer answers than when they began talking.

What they did learn was that the present recycling facility in town, located along 50th Street, will remain open until sometime in March. At that time, it will be closed and everything moved to the town’s transfer site northeast of Ponoka. That will also mean everyone including county residents will have to pay in order to drop off waste.

With that being the case, chief administrative officer Charlie Cutforth explained he met with representatives of GFL (Green For Life) the same company the town recently contracted for waste collection and was told it could provide one large bin for recycling to the county transfer facility. They estimated it would be collected every other week to be taken to its Edmonton facility where the sorting would be done.

However, when councillor Mark Matejka asked about the bin and whether the county could collect the recycling on its own then take it to the town site, council quickly found out it will cost them one way or the other.

Cutforth told council they will have to pay GFL for the bin, and since GFL is doing the same for the town, it makes no sense for the county to spend the time and money to collect recycling and transfer it to the town site.

“There really is no market anymore for a number of items including clear plastics and glass, which is why they only now accept things like cardboard and couple of other things,” said Cutforth.

He added he will be looking into the issue further, including if some of the items are simply just being sent to another landfill. If that’s the case, Cutforth stated they could do that themselves. He will also be talking more with the town to see if there is a way to better coordinate on recycling.

Crime Watch comeback

Liddle spoke briefly about some residents in his area expressing some interest in renewing the Rural Crime Watch program.

“There has also been a gain in interest from the Ponoka RCMP, which will be a big help in resurrecting it if we can get enough people involved,” he stated.

The hope is that this surge in interest will help gain some momentum and Liddle is trying to gather more information on the number of interested people before trying to put a meeting together.

Take It Off

Council approved a motion to participate in a program called Take It Off, run by Lacombe County.

The voluntary program involves participants registering their ice fishing shacks, which helps to ensure they are removed on time. Cutforth told council the program has worked well for Lacombe with no shacks left on Sylvan Lake for the past two years and they seem quite happy.

“What they are really looking for from us is help in providing education and awareness of the program to those in our area, specifically on Gull Lake,” he said.

Sweeping up

To clear off the rest of the agenda, council approved sending representatives from administration to a meeting in Drumheller of the Red Deer River Municipal User Group along with a pair of donations for curling events in Ponoka.

The hope at the meeting is they can learn more about issues surrounding water delivery and quality. Meanwhile, the donations of $200 each will go toward sponsoring the upcoming 2016 high school curling championship being hosted by Ponoka Secondary in March and this week’s Town and Country Bonspiel.


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