The board of directors of the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) has supported a bid to build a recycling depot and waste transfer station in Houston.
The proposal was discussed in the RDBN’s meeting on March 7 and will see the construction of the facilities at the old Houston Landfill site on Mountain View Drive, just south of the village.
The depot decision follows an unsuccessful attempt to convince the Houston Bottle Depot to sign a contract with Recycle BC.
The new recycling centre would have a five-year contract with Recycle BC, according to an RDBN memorandum.
The Mountain View Drive site was chosen over the alternatives of the Knockholt Landfill site and a vacant parcel in an industrial zone because of its added space.
“We’re going to have a good piece of road going in there because eventually we’ll have to build storage pads for metal, because metal will be part of recycling. It’s going to be quite a big site. There’ll be lots of snow removal and roadworks,” Rory McKenzie, director of environmental services explained to the board.
Phase 1 of the depot construction is estimated to cost $95,000, which would be funded with gas tax revenue. In addition, a loader and attachments would cost $110,000, with funding coming from 2019 capital dollars. Phase 2 site completion would cost $30,000 to $50,000.
Alongside the depot would be a new waste transfer station, which an RDBN document said is what most of the public wants.
“It will provide Houston Rural and the Town of Houston close to having the ‘One stop shop’ (except deposit beverage containers – Houston Bottle Depot).”
McKenzie said it’s a more efficient solution, “The advantages of having one transfer station there is everyone takes their garbage and recycling there. You’re going to get a lot more people buying into recycling…They’ll drop off their recycling products and whatever is left will go in the transfer station.”
It could also lower the operation costs of the Knockholt landfill because it wouldn’t have to operate seven days a week.
“We could take the landfill down to five days a week, we could use one less full time employee. We’d be able to lower costs at the Houston landfill operating it and operate a transfer station instead so the economic scales are there for employees. And the convenience of [the public] being able to use a transfer station that’s close to their town is a big plus,” he said.
The new station would have three 50-yard self-contained bear proof transfer bins set on a concrete foundation with a retaining wall.
Construction cost for the station would be $650,000, which could come out of the Northern Capital and Planning grant for the RDBN, said Jason Llewellyn, Director of Planning.
The funding could otherwise be sourced through borrowing from reserves.