Hinton already provides Take It or Leave It service

Masha Scheele

The Town of Hinton will look at extending their current contract with the Edson and District Recycling Society, explained Jace Rush, interim director of infrastructure services, but they are not currently in discussions with them about this.

Previously, Coun. JoAnn Race asked administration about contracting a service from Edson to provide a Take It or Leave It area in Hinton.

The current cost of the Rowan St. recycling facility to the town is approximately $250k per year with anticipated increases for 2020 and a Take It or Leave It program would add additional costs.

After visiting the Take It or Leave It facility in Edson, Rush learned about some of the problems when managing a facility like this.

The most frequent problem Edson faces with their program is people dropping off garbage at the site gate. 

Strict controls were needed otherwise the Take It or Leave It had the potential to become an in-town garbage dump, Rush explained.

“It’s not something you just generate and say here’s a spot, throw lots of stuff here. You have to have someone there to monitor it, you have to have it fenced in, you have to have someone there when they take it away,” said Rush at the standing committee meeting on Aug. 27.

Based on staffing and volunteer hours, the program in Edson is only operational for four hours on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.

The facility would need enough land, fencing, and additional dedicated staff personnel plus volunteers to monitor and sort items.

Space on the Hinton Rowan St. site could be an issue for a Take it or Leave it facility, as it would require a building to house the items from the weather, theft or vandalism. 

Rush stressed that the program would be difficult to justify as it duplicates existing programs by organizations in Hinton.

Some existing Hinton organizations provide the same function as a Take It or Leave It facility, such as the Share Shop, NeighbourLink, and Kick It to the Curb. 

“The Town of Hinton has numerous organizations that cover a lot of this. It’s very impressive what they do for the town and the people in town. The share shop, NeighbourLink and so forth,” said Rush. “This is something that the town and council should be promoting, letting people know about all the organizations we do have here and all the great work they do.”

The contract regarding shipping and collecting Hinton’s recycled products to the Edson facility has not been reviewed or updated since it was made in 2015.

Hinton pays Edson Recycling monthly for managing the Rowan St. Recycling Facility, the bin rentals, and the amount of recycled material shipped out in the bins based upon weight.

An increase from $50 per tonne recycling to $75 per tonne was requested by Edson Recycling earlier this year as Hinton was in the process of completing the 2019 budget.

The additional costs could not be agreed to, and contract talks were put on hold until budget time for 2020 after reviewing the monthly charges and recommending a few changes to the 2019 monthly invoices for better clarity.

Administration anticipates Edson Recycling to ask for $100 per tonne or more depending on their costs to pass on the recycling items in the new 2020 contract.