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Cardboard disposal costs will be ‘minimal,’ says waste commission chairman

Mountain View Regional Waste Management Commission has closed its unmanned recycling centres, leaving cardboard to be disposed of as waste
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MOUNTAIN VIEW COUNTY - Now that the taxpayer-funded Mountain View Regional Waste Management Commission (MVRWMC) has closed its unmanned recycling centres, people will need to pay out-of-pocket to dispose of cardboard as waste at the commission’s transfer stations and the Didsbury-area landfill, says chairman Greg Harris.

Effective July 31, the recycling centres operated by the commission located at the Water Valley transfer station, Sundre transfer station and in Midway and Eagle Hill were closed. The centres included bins where cardboard could be dropped off free-of-charge.

The recycling collections bins in Olds have also been removed.

Asked how much people can expect to pay to dispose of their cardboard waste, he said, “I think it will be negligible because you are talking about stuff which isn’t super heavy. It will be minimal.”

The Didsbury-area landfill charges $0.076 a kilogram for general waste, which now includes cardboard, with a $5 minimum charge; the Sundre and Water Valley transfer stations charge $0.23 a kilogram for general waste, also with a $5 minimum charge.

The decision to close the centres was due to the fact that there was no market for the products, which had to be disposed of in landfill, Harris said.

“The reality is almost all of this stuff has no place to go, so the company we were giving it to for the most part was just takes it to a landfill somewhere,” he said. 

“It’s costing the commission and the towns over $400,000 a year to simply redirect recycling into a different waste stream.”

Asked if the $400,000 saved by closing the centres will be returned to commission member municipalities, he said, “Absolutely. The total amount will be refunded back in a reduced fee for service.

“The fee for service for recycling alone has been between 50 and 60 per cent of the money we charge each of the towns and the county for recycling. Depending on their population and the per capita that they are paying, it’s all going to go back; we are not keeping any of it.”

The commission underwent a lengthy process over the past months regarding the recycling centres, with member municipalities eventually changing waste serve agreements to eliminate the centres. 

The commission is still taking some recycling, including waste fuels and diesel, antifreeze and glycols, propane tanks, microwaves, batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, paint cans and aerosol paint cans, household hazardous waste, tires, and household electronic devices, say officials.


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