Curbside recycling is coming to Revelstoke

Curbside recycling pick-up is coming to Revelstoke starting the beginning of next year.

Curbside recycling pick-up is coming to Revelstoke starting the beginning of next year.

The decision was unveiled quietly at a meeting of the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District in Revelstoke last Thursday, May 19.

There wasn’t any fanfare accompanying it – it was simply part of a slideshow presentation on recycling by Darcy Mooney, the district’s deputy manager of environment and engineering services.

“Revelstoke just recently decided to move forward with curbside collection,” he said while showing a slide that indicated Bresco Industries would be the contractor for the job.

The slide scooped the city’s own planned announcement. Mayor David Raven confirmed in an interview after the presentation that an agreement had been reached and a press release is set to be sent out announcing the fact next week.

The cost of the program was not readily available. Raven said the monthly cost per household would be about $5 but later said it might be closer to $30 per year. That represents the city’s portion of the cost. Further expenses will come from the CSRD’s portion of the contracts.

“Bresco has given us a real bargain,” he said, adding there will be savings from an expected decrease in garbage going to the dump.

“It’s less garbage, it’s less handling, it’s less processing and it’s less dumping fees,” he said.

Requests by the Times Review for an advance copy of the press release and for the exact costs of the program but were declined. Details will be posted to as soon as they are made available.

What is known is that pick-up will be every two weeks and residents will be given blue bags to store their recyclables in.

Bresco Industries, a local company owned by brothers Brett and Scott Renaud, will be doing the door-to-door pick-up, compacting and re-loading, and the long-haul to the processing plant in Kelowna.

Bresco already offers a suite of waste removal services including garbage disposal, cardboard recycling, construction waste, green waste and more. It also operates the Revelstoke landfill.

Curbside recycling was approved by city council last year. The contract was sent out for tender this winter and Bresco came in at the lowest cost and significantly cheaper than the cost of doing it in house, said Raven.

The contracted was awarded after several closed council meetings.

Curbside recycling is expected to provide several benefits. More recyclables are expected to be diverted out of the landfill due to the enhanced convenience of curbside pick-up. As well, there are ancillary benefits in that people will not have to drive to the recycling depot to dispose of their recyclables, thereby reducing car trips and carbon emissions, Mooney said.

The depot by the arena, which is run by Emterra, will remain but Mooney said there could be savings there if the recycling is compacted in Revelstoke before being transported to the processing facility. Currently Emterra transports loose material by truck, meaning many more trips.

“Where the real savings come in is not having to decommission the dump and not having to build a new dump,” said Raven.

So far Salmon Arm is the only city in the regional district to start up a curbside recycling program. Golden starts their program in July and Revelstoke will start in January 2012. Sicamous chose not to implement the program.

Mooney said there was a 28 per cent increase in recyclables collected in Salmon Arm with the implementation of curbside pick-up. There was also a 30 per cent increase in the tonnes of recycling collected between January and April.

“What we’re really getting is new users into the system because of the convenience,” he said, adding that curbside recycling was also proving cheaper than the depot system.

“Its quite shocking when you see how inexpensive the curbside programs are compared to the depot programs and how much enhanced the participation rate is and the convenience is,” he said.

Up next could be some sort of organic pick-up to divert even more waste from the landfill. Mooney said the CSRD was working on a organic waste management program and that so far 100 composters had been distributed throughout the region.

Raven said the city was also looking at composting. “This is just one piece of the stream,” he said.