By Marianne Curtis
Three months after the RM of Ste. Anne cancelled its municipal wide recycling program, reeve Art Bergmann is pleased to report that a new program will soon be in place.
The RM of Ste. Anne recently signed an agreement with Eastman Recycling Services in Steinbach. Under the agreement, the company will provide recycling services every second Saturday.
Recycling depots are also being set up in Giroux, Richer, La Coulee and near Paradise Village.
“Recyclers in the area can have a depot to return their products that will be recycled and we can actually promote the whole concept of recycling in our municipality,” stated Bergmann. “We are taking out of our general mil rate for this service and it is going to be available to all ratepayers.”
The new service is expected to cost the RM of Ste. Anne about $1,000 per month.
“We are going to commit to this for about a year with the idea that it will grow and to see what kind of reception it will get in the community,” Bergmann continued. “If the reception is great who knows where this program will end up.”
The RM of Ste. Anne cancelled its recycling program at beginning of July after it realized that it could not continue to offer the service without some financial planning. Until ten months ago, Blue Sky Recycling picked up materials and not charged the municipality. The non-profit organization was run by Dawson Trail Opportunities using subsidies from the government because it was providing employment opportunities for handicapped individuals. However, when the province shut down Dawson Trail Opportunities, the recycling service was also affected.
Soon afterwards a private contractor stepped in and picked up recycling materials while doing garbage pickup but when he approached the municipality for fair compensation for the service he was refused. Because it affected his bottom line, his generosity stopped and the program came to a complete standstill.
The RM of Ste. Anne was then forced to come up with a better solution after residents demanded that a system be re-established.
“Our main difficulty was finding a way to provide a service that was the same for all ratepayers,” Bergmann noted. “You cannot ask one area to pay for a service that is enjoyed in another area.”
The RM of Ste. Anne expects to see a small cash incentive coming into the municipality as a result of setting up the program. While the municipality has received a small amount from the province over the years, that amount is expected to increase once Eastman Recycling keeps track of the recycling coming in from the municipality. Until now, the rebate received was minimal because residents were taking their recycling to Steinbach and the credit was not given to the municipality of origin.