May 25th, 2024

Council looking into recycling of electronics and hazardous waste


By Al Beeber - Lethbridge Herald on November 17, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDabeeber@lethbridgeherald.com

Does the potential exist for Lethbridge residents to recycle electronic and hazardous household waste at city recycling facilities?
City councillor Ryan Parker wants to find out.
In one of five official business motions he put forward at Monday’s council meeting, Parker asked council to approve a motion calling on city council to request the City Manager provide options to deliver these services at the existing recycling depots.
The motion called for the City Manager at the Dec. 14 council meeting to provide a schedule with dates and stages when reporting will occur at which meetings, including any pertinent information on the matter.
The motion passed unanimously.
According to the motion, environmental stewardship is a high priority for the city and it has made major strides in the areas of recycling. It also states that recycling depots are well utilized and says there is a need to collect and dispose hazardous waste in the city and the only location for disposal is outside of city limits.
“As most people know if you go through anyone’s garage or their basement, someone seems to have some kind of paint or an old computer or an old TV that’s just sitting around and they’re saying they’re going to get rid of this sooner or later. And people get impatient and throw it in the garbage, said Parker while addressing his motion.
“I think the reason why isn’t they don’t care about the environment, they just don’t want to drive outside the city close to 5 or 10 kilometres or even 15 kilometres, it all depends on where you live in the city, and get in line to drop off one single computer or laptop or the odd can of paint,” he said.
Toxic and e-waste roundups that are occasionally staged by various Lethbridge organizations aren’t consistent “and it isn’t something that you can rely on on a daily basis or an annual basis. So I do not know what this is going to look like. I don’t expect that our recycling centre, which has been a huge success, to be utilized each and every day for a drop-off,” Parker said, reiterating remarks by Waste & Recycling General Manager Joel Sanchez that it takes organization about safety, and implementing a plan.
Such an e-waste recycling program could be “anything from something quarterly, once done every three months where you drop off in one location or it could be all three locations,” said Parker.
“Since we have the existing sites already, the infrastructure to drop these off and if we could find a way to do this in a safe way, not only safe to the residents but safe to the environment, I think it’s a win-win for everyone,” Parker added.
Councillor John Middleton-Hope said “I would ask that the administration as they go forward in examining this motion look for additional opportunities to utilize recycling facilities as these are exceptional facilities. Some cities don’t have the opportunity to be able to do the recycling that we are able to do.”
He said he would encourage administration “as well in developing some strategies that are made public in terms of how those materials are now being recycled.”
Acting mayor Rajko Dodic asked if the opportunity exists to drop off the organic material at city recycling stations that will be collected in the green carts which will be rolled out here.
He also noted “A lot of people were using these depots and not using the blue bins to the same extent as others so is there an opportunity there as well to be able to offer citizens the opportunity to do their organics waste recycling at the existing recycling depots?”
Sanchez said yard waste sites, which just closed on Sunday, collected for the first time more than 2,000 tonnes of material. He said because the green carts will contain food waste, that material will have to be taken to an approved site.
But in response to a question by Dodic, Sanchez said theoretically the existing recycling stations could accommodate a large green bin for such waste but proper containment and other matters have to be considered.

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