Nine months after the Sunshine Coast Recycling and Processing Society (SCRAPS) collapsed financially and closed its recycling depots, the regional district is preparing to hire a new recycling contractor.
On June 8, the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) infrastructure services committee voted unanimously to ask for bids from companies to provide two staffed recycling depots, one in Gibsons and one in Sechelt, providing the same level of service as SCRAPS. The directors did not specify exact locations for the depots.
The SCRD directors decided not to have the contractor provide unstaffed drop-off bins in smaller communities, as SCRAPS had done.
"I heard no complaints at the loss of two unmanned depots in Halfmoon Bay," said John Marian, director for Halfmoon Bay. "I'm not sure anything other than Gibsons and Sechelt is necessary."
One controversial issue was whether the SCRD should itself bid on the recycling contract. The board rejected all responses to a request for proposals last winter partly because of an in-house SCRD bid, which some directors felt was improper.
For this tender, the directors decided the SCRD would not submit a formal bid but rather provide a "control bid" estimating the cost for providing recycling service in-house.
"We should make it clear we reserve the right not to award the tender," said Adrian Belshaw, director for Roberts Creek, who favoured the idea of providing recycling service in-house.
The directors discussed the idea of curbside "blue box" recycling but decided to let the municipalities of Gibsons and Sechelt decide whether and when to move to that level of recycling.
"I do question, if we look at the cost of [curbside pickup], whether people would support it," said Barry Janyk, mayor of Gibsons. Before putting the recycling project out to tender, the SCRD board must decide details such as the type of containers and level of pre-sorting to be required.
In the meantime, the SCRD has learned its temporary recycling bins near the IGA in Gibsons and the Sechelt library are no longer welcome. The SCRD hopes to find new locations for the temporary bins by the end of July.