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Town studying recycling for condos

Okotoks: Review of waste reduciton plan underway

By: Don Patterson

  |  Posted: Wednesday, Mar 19, 2014 06:00 am

Okotoks resident Tyler Foley would like to see the town provide recycling collection for condos and other multi-family developments in Okotoks.
Okotoks resident Tyler Foley would like to see the town provide recycling collection for condos and other multi-family developments in Okotoks.
PHILLIP CURRIE/OWW

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Residents in Okotoks condo and townhome complexes might not need to haul away their recyclables much longer as Town officials are considering options to provide recycling collection in multi-family developments.

It’s a move at least one town councillor is supporting.

Coun. Matt Rockley recently made a formal inquiry to Town administration about what options are available to provide recycling services to multi-family developments.

He wants the Town to look at offering recycling in apartments and condos.

“To me it’s a fairly substantial issue, over 30 per cent of our housing in Okotoks is multi-family and we’ve done quite a good job of providing recycling options for people in single-detached homes, but we really haven’t done anything in terms of collection from multi-family sites,” said Rockley.

Currently, recycling collection is not offered to people living in condos or townhomes, but they can take recyclables to the recycling centre on their own.

However, Rockley said not everyone is able to do so.

“I’m kind of convinced there’s a large segment of the condo dwelling population that would probably recycle more if there was a service available,” he said.

Tracey Chala, Okotoks resource recovery co-ordinator, is reviewing the Town’s resource recovery plan and confirmed she is looking at what options could be available to provide recycling to multi-family residential complexes.

“That will be somehow incorporated into the plan,” she said.

Chala said the Town is considering either providing an opt-in, subscription-based service, as it currently provides for curbside collection from homes in town, or making recycling collection mandatory for all condos and houses in Okotoks.

If the Town made recycling collection mandatory for condos, she said it would also do so for all homes in town.

Chala said the review will be presented to town council sometime in either late April, or May.

She said they might consider doing a pilot project with a condo complex to test the concept.

Rockley said he favours a subscription-based service where condo boards can voluntary opt in and pay a fee for municipal recycling collection services.

“I think that it would make more sense to follow the system we have currently with the curbside recycling program,” he said. “It’s a subscription program, if people want to pay the monthly fee to have recycling collected, then they can opt to do that and have that service. I think it should be handled the same way with different condo developments that it would be a decision on a site-by-site basis.”

Rockley said a subscription-based service could also work as a sort of pilot project.

“If an apartment complex decided that they’d like to try it out, they could subscribe for a year and see how it goes,” he said. ‘If it’s good, they could continue, if not then they can opt out.”

A resident and former board president at one Okotoks’ largest condo complexes would like to see recycling collection available at condos.

Tyler Foley, the former president of the condo board at the Pencross Condominium in Okotoks, said residents in the complex often asked for recycling services.

“If there were an option for it, I know that I would definitely want to pursue it myself,” he said. “I know there’s other support for it within my building.”

Foley said the condo already provides cardboard recycling for its residents. He said it’s an expensive service to provide, but residents wanted it.

He said condos should have the option to chose whether to opt-in to recycling collection provided by the Town.

Foley said it would allow the condominium complexes that want to offer recycling to do so.

He said some may not be able to do it as easily as others, either because they don’t have room to locate recycling facilities on-site or it would be costly to do so.

“Making it mandatory for some of those condos to have to retrofit and that’s where you would incur extra costs,” said Foley. “I think the opt-in is the better thing.”


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