BY JORDAN PARKER
The land parcel that used to hold the green recycling bin for Gull Lake currently sits desolate and empty, but Mayor Blake Campbell says big changes are coming.
After Waste Management Inc., who were in charge of the town’s garbage contract, indicated they wanted out, council got the wheels turning on other residential collection alternatives.
“This gave us an opportunity to look at recycling a bit deeper. The problem with that big bin is that people were putting stuff in there that just didn’t belong,” said Campbell.
“It ended up happening with a couple loads, and the last one just ended up in the landfill. We take it to a centre in Kyle, SK, and it all has to be sorted properly when it gets there. Our load got rejected, so we just ended up contributing to the landfill.”
The mayor says the reason Waste Management wanted out of their contract isn’t clear, but the town looked at the best options to replace them.
At a council meeting recently, they looked at two tenders; One from Triways and one from Gull Lake company Advanced Waste Solutions.
“We awarded it to Advanced Waste Solutions, and now we have a concept for combined recycling and garbage pick-up,” said Campbell.
“In keeping with the survey results about garbage collection we gathered, we will have alley collection. Everyone will get their own recycling bin and garbage bin, and it will be bi-weekly, with garbage one week and recycling the next.”
Campbell is excited for the development, but residents will still have to wait “anywhere from two to eight weeks” for things to get rolling again.
“Unfortunately, in the meantime, we won’t re-open the current recycling centre.” he said.
“People can use Sarcan as often as possible and go to Swift Current beyond that.”
Although there’s no firm date set, Campbell is excited for Gull Lake to make the transition.
“When we are ready to roll it out, we can provide more information on how it will work, rules regarding where bins are placed and we’ll talk about many other things,” he said.
“We apologize for the inconvenience, but we plan on improving and enhancing things. Getting this for the home is a huge improvement for people. When people have the means at home, we think they’ll be more diligent. This is a huge thing for our little community.”
Campbell also clarified that nothing is changing with commercial businesses. Those who recycle with a certain company will continue to do so, and those who were previously using the bin will now have to find other means.
“If we took businesses under our wing, they might have to pay penalties to get out of their existing contracts with their current garbage collection providers. Recycling is up to them. It’s not quite as easy commercially,” he said.
“We are hoping everyone in Gull Lake is on board to move to recycling options.”
Lindsay Allban, who works with AWS in sales and advertising, says everything isn’t finalized, but the company is excited to work with the town on the project.
The contract, the details of which are currently scarce, allows AWS to work closely with Gull Lake.
“AWS was excited to offer this service to Gull Lake, because this company is a Gull Lake family-operated business, which is proud to operate in this town. We were excited to be awarded this contract and offer recycling and waste collection services for our community,” said Alliban in an email.
“AWS will be responsible for Waste and Recycling Collection for the households in Gull Lake.”
AWS will offer single stream recycling collection, where everything can be collected in one container and sorted at a later date.
Things accepted include labeled plastics one to seven, clean aluminum foil and containers, food tins, beverage containers, dry paper and cardboard. Glass isn’t accepted.
“To prepare for the upcoming recycling option, start being conscious of recyclable materials by checking labels and researching online. One thing to remember is ‘when in doubt, leave it out,’ “ said Alliban.
“Recycling takes some time to get used to, but having access to a drop off location right at your door makes it easier and more efficient for your household.”