No convenient recycle options for Cayley folks

Environment: Residents continue to haul materials to High River

By: Roxanne Blackwell

  |  Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 10:38 am

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If you want people to recycle, you have to make it easy says Cayley resident Annelies Bates and currently recycling in the MD of Foothills hamlet isn’t an easy task.

With no recycle bins in the hamlet, residents are forced to make the trek to High River if they want keep their re-useable out of the trash. For Bates, that means an hour-long round trip.

“People don’t recycle if you don’t make it convenient,” she said

In time where the importance of being environmentally friendly is stressed, Bates doesn’t understand why the facilities haven’t been provided to encourage residents to do so.

“You’re not giving us an opportunity if you’re not giving us a place to put things,” she said. “The school teaches kids about how to recycle and the importance, but there’s no place to do it.”

Bates said, unfortunately, her recyclables often end up in the trash.

“Garbage is your easiest option and everybody always goes for what’s easiest,” she said. “If you want people to do it you have to make it convenient and free.”

But although recycling is efficient, it isn’t free, especially in rural areas.

High River recycling supervisor Peter McDowell said having the recycle bins in small towns just isn’t cost effective.

“Recycling, there’s not much money in it, it’s basically a service you’re providing,” he said.

Bates said she would be satisfied with a trailer-type bin similar to the town of Granum, but McDowell said the issue is where the recycling will go once the trailer is full. Currently, the recycling from the High River bins is hauled all the way into Calgary to be processed.

“Granum has a trailer and they haul it to Lethbridge,” he said. “If there was one in Cayley you could try and make a deal with Okotoks because they have more of a facility to handle that, otherwise it would have to go to Calgary.”

Bates wrote a letter concerning the issue, which was discussed in MD of Foothills council on April 30, but Reeve Larry Spilak said a recycling trailer isn’t going to happen any time soon in Cayley.

“If we put one in one area in the region, we would be obligated to do the others,” he said.

Instead, Spilak said a new project might help alleviate recycling woes in the area.

“We are discussing putting a recycling depot at the landfill (north of High River) in the future, so that would be an option for them,” he said.

McDowell, who is part of the regional waste commission, said they’re working with council, but they’re still in talks about the recycling facility at the landfill. If the facility moves forward, it would mean High River’s recycling would go to this facility rather than Calgary, meaning there might be a similar option for Cayley.

“Cayley’s in a tough spot because the landfill location wouldn’t be any closer,” McDowell said, “but if they did get a trailer, they might be able to unload it at the new facility.”

Although there isn’t an easy option at the moment, McDowell hopes Foothills residents will continue to do their best.

“I want to encourage everyone to recycle, I do, but we understand there are some restraints.”


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