Garbage collection rates for residents will not be raised if the City goes ahead with a new curbside recycling program, explained the mayor.
"If there's more recycling, there's less garbage, the costs for collection will go down, and the cost to the city will hopefully go down," said Mayor Mike Bernier. "There won't be much of a change right now so we're hoping not to charge to pick up the recycling."
Earlier this month, Dawson Creek city council voted, as part of their 2013 strategic priorities chart, to create a curbside recycling program.
However, not much is known about what shape the program could take, or if the program could take off at all.
"It's kind of early in the discussion," said Bernier. "Right now we're in the preliminary stages of planning so we are going to have to reach out to the community for discussion ... We need to have town hall meetings because there's a lot of discussion that needs to take place and so they understand that it's going to be a benefit."
Bernier said that if the city finds out through later town hall discussions that the city does not support the curbside recycling program, then city council will not pursue it.
While discussions are early, the city has in mind a program that would pick up recycling in a separate bin that workers would pick up with their garbage.
"Right now, we're leaving the parameters quite wide," Bernier added.
This recycled material would then be taken to the Dawson Creek Recycling Depot.
The new owner of the Dawson Creek Recycling Depot, Jeremy Parslow, said that he believes a newly proposed curbside recycling program would help his business.
"It's definitely something we would like to be involved with," said Parslow. "It's definitely something we can handle. We've got the staff, the equipment, the space."
Parslow, who took over from previous owner Dale Campbell earlier this month, said
"We're a bottle depot but then we do all the other types of (recycling) activities," he said. "We do paint, pesticides, scrap metal ... electronics, cardboard paper, pretty much anything."
Bernier also praised the depot’s capabilities.
"Right now in Dawson Creek we're one of the best recycling depots for accepting such a wide variety,” he said. "We're going to take that to the curb and continue that same level of recycling."
Bernier believed that the measure would help save the city money.
"There's lots of things that could be recycled and end up in the landfill and we pay for that.”
Beyond this, he also hoped to begin more of a partnership with the depot.
“We’re not trying to help put anyone out of business,” he said.
Bernier also believed that this program was in line with other environmental programs the city has begun.
“We know we have the ability to do this.”
However, if the city decides to go through with this, there are still some issues that need to be sorted. The city must first look at changing their contract with Canadian Waste, the company who currently collects garbage.
The city must also have to succeed where previous private companies could not. “There’s been some private companies who have tried to make some money at curbside recycling which never succeeded,” he said. “Right now we have a great volunteer recycling system. We don’t want to see that change, we want to see it actually improve.”