Depot to curtail recycling in June

The Burns Lake Recycle Depot won’t accept most recyclable materials after June 15.

Paper, glass, plastic and styrofoam will no longer be taken in.

The facility canceled its contract with Recycle BC, depot manager Kai Joung told Lakes District News.

“They need three months notice before it’s canceled. Everything except recycle items we will accept…batteries, light bulbs, electrical items, paint.”

Kai explained that the relationship with Recycle BC had become difficult.

“I can’t trust the Recycle BC. It’s a payment problem. They don’t pay us. I sent them many emails but they didn’t respond to me.”

Recycle BC spokesman David Lefebvre couldn’t comment on why the contract was terminated.

He explained that the contract Joung signed with Recycle BC hadn’t been active for very long.

“The depot itself has been part of the Recycle BC program since June 2015 under a different owner. The depot was sold to a new owner in 2019. That new owner entered into an agreement with Recycle BC around February…And then in mid-March the new owner advised Recycle BC that they want to terminate the agreement with us.”

Contracts typically last about five years, Lefebvre said.

“We’re working with the new owner and we want to make sure we get an appropriate transition period” before the contract ends in June, Lefebvre said, adding that the organization is looking for someone in Burns Lake who could open a new depot.

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako plans to discuss the matter at an upcoming board of directors meeting, said Janette Derksen, Deputy Director of Environmental Services.

“It is a concern of ours. We are addressing it,” she said.

The non-profit Recycle BC, headquartered in Vancouver has agreements with more 200 depots across the province. It’s a depot owners choice to sign with the organization, and if one is signed the depot is subject to some conditions such as having appropriate infrastructure – like collection containers – to manage recyclable materials and hiring staff to interact with the public.

Recycle BC pays the depot for the materials, which for this region are taken to the Green By Nature facility in Prince George for processing.

Pay rates for residential recycling are calculated by tonne, with depots getting $80 per tonne for paper and cardboard, $500 per tonne for plastic bags and overwrap and $800 per tonne for foam packaging, among other types of recycling. Payments are higher if the depot bales up the materials.

The end of the Burns Lake depot’s contract with Recycle BC follows a similar situation in neighbouring Houston.

The Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) had been negotiating with John Koo, owner of the Houston Bottle Depot to sign with Recycle BC.

Koo told Lakes District News in late January that he couldn’t meet the conditions of Recycle BC.

LOOK BACK: RDBN considers plan to cut $40,000 subsidy to recycle depots

Those negotiations weren’t successful and the RDBN has decided to support a proposal to build a new recycling depot and transfer station at the old Houston Landfill site on Mountain View Drive.

READ MORE: Houston to get new recycle depot, waste site


Blair McBride
Multimedia reporter
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