Joining many Northern communities, including the City of Prince George, the Village of Burns Lake (VBL) council voted to decline Multi-Materials BC (MMBC) offer of financial assistance to establish a curb-side recycling program.
Council has previously considered the issue at length (Sept. 4, 2013 Burns Lake entertains curb side recycling), and VBL development services coordinator Jeff Ragsdale examined the pros and cons of the MMBC offer in great detail.
Although VBL council had been optimistic that a solution could be found to their concerns, MMBC proved inflexible in providing the deadline extension Ragsdale had asked for.
If the proposal had been accepted and implemented for 2014, additional taxation of $108,000 would have had to have been raised to cover start-up capital costs and the extra cost of running the program in addition to regular curb side garbage collection.
The ongoing operational costs, according to Ragsdale’s report, would have exceeded recycling revenue generated through the program by $6000 per year, and only under certain conditions.
In order to only exceed recycling revenue by $6000, the program would have to meet certain – perhaps optimistic – conditions: 100 per cent household and multi-family dwelling participation, the post-collection recycling facility would have to be within 10 kms of Burns Lake, and the village would have to avoid any fines associated with penalties for cross-contamination of recyclables with regular garbage.
According to a VBL online survey which collected 37 responses, there is strong support for curb side recycling in Burns Lake, even if it were to require a ‘modest’ increase in taxation.
Seventy-two percent of respondents were in favour of curb side recoiling, and 62 per cent of respondents were in favour of curb side recycling even with a slight municipal tax burden.
The village will continue to explore recycling possibilities, and there may be future opportunities for the village to opt-in to the MMBC recycling program if VBL council’s concerns can be satisfied.