Cardboard recycling remains a problem in regional district

Cardboard recycling remains a problem in regional district

RDBN and Smithers host roundtable on problems, solutions and cardboard ban at the Knockholt landfill

Cardboard recycling continues to be a problem without a solution in the Regional District of Bulkley Nechako (RDBN).

Last week, the district and the Town of Smithers hosted a virtual roundtable called “Connect 4 Cardboard” to discuss the issues surrounding ICI (Industrial Commercial Institutional) cardboard recycling in the district.

The virtual session had around 40 participant including members of the RDBN board, representatives of the Town of Smithers, members of Chamber of Commerce Network and several other interested stakeholders from the Lakes District and surrounding area.

The regional district has been working at finding a solution for the cardboard issue for a while now. In June, the board of directors carried a motion to develop a pilot project with the goal of recycling 50 per cent of residential and ICI cardboard in three years. However, a more permanent, long-term solution is being sought.

Alex Erikson, the RDBN director of environmental services highlighted the two main problems for recycling cardboard, the high cost of transportation and the dangers involved in transporting large volumes of cardboard over longer distances.

Possible solutions were also discussed during the roundtable, from finding a facility that would consolidate cardboard for transportation into bale loads, to helping boost the local economy with private businesses using the cardboard to possibly make pellets out of it. Another possible solution that was discussed was of “circular economy” in which recycled cardboard would be used for things such as livestock bedding.

RELATED: RDBN closer to a solution for ICI carboard recycling

Mark Fisher, Area A (Smithers Rural) director for the RDBN elaborated on this: “Circular economy is not just about recycling, but about repackaging things effectively.”

Several stakeholders and businesses chimed in during the Q&A toward the end with what they were facing or the solutions they were able to offer.

The Smithers Public Library presented their problem of not having a solution for recycling books that aren’t sold during their book sales. Wendy Wright, library director, mentioned they have almost 50 boxes full of books that need to be recycled each year and since the Tatlow Rd. facility that used to accept these books burned down in May 2019, they are now going to the dump.

In response to the library’s problem, Erikson informed representatives no recycling program is currently available for books.

A few other representatives such as Casda Thomas, acting Smithers mayor, Shane Mooth, manager for Canadian Tire, Mike Bundoch, manager for Bulkley Valley Wholesale, Chuck Braun of Loop Industries and Luis Gonzales, the Northern B.C. district manager for Waste Management also weighed in on the problem and while taxing the community saw opposition, everyone unanimously agreed that a need for a sustainable solution was essential.

One of the participants said that she would be willing to pay if she knew cardboard would definitely get recycled and not just thrown away in the dump. Fisher noted the regional district has seen a lot of businesses are supportive of this.

Fisher also urged everyone to write to the Province to include commercial recycling with the residential recycling program.

“Put pressure on the Province; we had received a verbal commitment that they would include it with residential recycling but it is not fast enough,” he said adding he would now be taking the request from the roundtable to the RDBN to create a template for such a letter that people can submit.

Following the May 2019 fire that destroyed the receiving facility in Smithers, cardboard was diverted to the Knockholt landfill. The RDBN then issued a ban on cardboard at the landfill as it started threatening its stability, but later announced in a press release they would be suspending the cardboard ban and would revisit the decision on a month-by-month basis until Nov. 1.

Priyanka Ketkar
Multimedia journalist

Like us on Facebook and follows us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

The COVID-19 outbreak at the two Coastal GasLink workforce lodges has officially been declared over. (Lakes District News file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak at Coastal GasLink worksites declared over

In total, 56 cases were associated with the outbreak in the Burns Lake and Nechako LHAs

Brett Alexander Jones is wanted on several warrants province-wide, in connection with multiple charges. Jan. 21, 2021. Kitimat RCMP photo
Kitimat RCMP searching for man wanted on several warrants province-wide

Jones is described as a five-foot 10-inches Caucasian man, with blond hair and blue eyes.

That’s Houston physician Dr. Stefanie Steel receiving her first dose of the Pfizer vaccine Jan. 19, 2021 from RN nurse manager Cindy Cockle. (Northern Health photo)
First Houston vaccinations take place

Long term care residents, health care workers on list

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

BC Coroners Service is currently investigating a death at Canoe Cove Marina and Boatyard in North Saanich. (Black Press Media File)
Drowning death in North Saanich likely B.C.’s first in for 2021

Investigation into suspected drowning Monday night continues

Kimberly Proctor, 18, was murdered in 2010. Her family has spent many of the years since pushing for a law in her honour, that they say would help to prevent similar tragedies. (Courtesy of Jo-Anne Landolt)
Proposed law honouring murdered B.C. teen at a standstill, lacks government support

Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions has concerns with involuntary detainment portion of act

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam speaks during a daily briefing in Ottawa. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld)
31 cases of COVID-19 variants detected in Canada: Health officials

Dr. Theresa Tam made announces 13 more variant COVID-19 cases in Canada

Most Read