City says the cost of curbside recycling could change

By Leah Murray
October 26, 2017 - 7:00am

MEDICINE HAT, AB — The City of Medicine Hat is expected to roll out curbside recycling service in the spring of 2018.

City staff are currently working on developing a plan for the service including public information and education initiatives.

The goal was to implement the program for a cost of no more than $6.00 per month to residents. A report submitted to City Council in March 2017, said curbside recycling would cost utility customers $4.66 per month, but now that may change.

“Costs for implementing the program is one of the many pieces we're still working on so we don't have specific information to offer right now,” explained Brian Murphy, general manager of environmental utilities for the city. “Again that's the sort of information we will have available over the winter months.”

Regardless of the cost, the curbside service will be mandatory, starting with single family homes, duplexes and 4-plexes in Medicine Hat.

The recycling initiative is being undertaken in order to extend the lifespan of the landfill.

“The more we can divert, the longer life we can get out of that asset, that makes programs such as curbside recycling incredibly important for everyone and for the city,” said Murphy.

CanPak Environmental won the bid to provide the curbside recycling pick up earlier this year.

The company, based out of Red Deer, took over operation of the Material Recovery Facility from Redi Enterprises in August.

District manager Randy Wong said the new company has managed to keep most of the former staff.

“We showed up with the same keys, turned the key and opened the door and got back to work so it was a really good simple transition for us,” the former Redi worker explained.

Wong adds CanPak will be looking to add more staff in the new year once the curbside program gets rolled out.

“With our curbside program we'll probably bring in at least six trucks, so that will be six new drivers that will get a chance to be employed in the city, so that's an awesome thing for our community,” Wong said.

“Then as we continue to sort more volume we'll need more guys sorting materials so we'll add a few more guys in that area as well.”

The company is also looking at expanding its recycling services to include condos and apartment complexes in the city.

Wong said they are also talking with municipalities outside Medicine Hat saying they could also provide similar services. He adds that would likely create additional jobs.

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