District Poised To Sever Long-time Recycling Relationship
In what was certainly a shock to many in Muskoka, Waste Connection of Canada has indicated the company will no longer be collecting and processing residential recyclables in the region.
A letter was issued by Waste Connection of Canada and addressed to the District Municipality of Muskoka Councillors and staff regarding a recent request for proposal (RFP) regarding the situation and made public on their social media account.
Hunters Bay Radio reached out to both parties and spoke to Jacklyn Carrigan, communications manager for Waste Connection of Canada. The disappointment in the situation was evident by the letter, but Carrigan helped shed more light on the company’s stance.
“The bottom line is we have the ability to collect and process curbside material for the residents of Muskoka, locally, as we have for a long time now, in the most responsible and cost-effective way, ensuring recyclable material is process properly,” she says.
Waste Connection of Canada has had a working relationship with the District since 1989, but due to the requirements set out by the RFP by the District Municipality of Muskoka, the company is disqualified from submitting a proposal.
“They have made single-stream recycling collection and processing mandatory to include as part of the bid submission,” says Carrigan. “Our facility does not allow for processing of recyclables in this manner.”
The Bracebridge-based location for the company has been collecting in a dual-stream recycling manner curbside for many years. The dual-stream process is where the residents divide recyclables into plastics, metals and paper and cardboard. Carrigan explains that this process helps keep contamination levels low.
“The closest single-stream facility is in the Greater Toronto Area, so this is likely the facility that will be chosen in the submissions by the companies bidding for the RFP,” she says. “
According to Carrigan, this will likely add a higher transportation fee for the taxpayers and it will add unnecessary environmental pressures in the form of increased fuel usage by the many vehicles needed to collect and deliver the waste to the processing facility.
“The unfortunate thing with this shift is it will also come at a cost to the local economy as Waste Connection of Canada will no longer be able to employ 20-plus employees in their residential recycling division,” says Carrigan. “Also, as a local processer, we’re regularly sourcing and utilizing local suppliers, mechanics, tradespersons that this will have an effect on as well.”
Carrigan says Waste Connections of Canada will continue to be responsible for residential curbside collection of waste as well as waste, recycling collection and processing for commercial and industrial entities.
A representative for the District declined comment on the situation, stating in an email:
“In accordance with the procurement policy, the District cannot comment publicly during any procurement process that is underway. We would be happy to hold interviews after a decision has been made by District Council, which is expected in April.”
By Chris Occhiuzzi, for HuntersBayRadio.com
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