Fort Macleod residents can once again dispose of used plastics through the town’s recycling depot.
Council decided Dec. 9 to pay BFI Canada Inc. to collect plastics as part of the recycling program.
At the beginning of July BFI Canada Inc. advised the Town of Fort Macleod it would no longer accept plastics as part of the recycling program.
In a report to council, assistant municipal manager Gloria Schwindt explained BFI will only accept single sorted, type specific, baled plastics.
The move was driven by a new policy adopted by China, which has tightened its rules on accepting waste from other countries.
Schwindt explained that Canada and other countries have long depended on being able to ship plastics to China.
Canada is not equipped to sort the clean materials to meet China’s new standards.
Canada has few options to dispose of these items and recyclable waste is being dumped in domestic landfills.
“At this point there is no money in plastics as a commodity,” Schwindt said. “We would be paying to have it hauled to the landfill.”
Recently, BFI Canada Inc. announced it would accept some loose plastic from community recycling depots such as the one in Fort Macleod.
BFI Canada Inc. will charge the Town of Fort Macleod $80 per tonne, or $4 to $5 per bin.
BFI Canada Inc. wants the plastics sorted, and will not accept bubble wrap, styrofoam or plastic shopping bags.
“As a short-term solution I would recommend we go this way for now,” Schwindt said.
Coun. Trish Hoskin supported paying BFI Canada Inc. to haul the plastics.
“I know in my circle lots and lots of people are really concerned they can’t recycle plastic,” Hoskin said.
Municipal manager David Connauton said the Town Office received many calls from people angry they could no longer recycle plastic.