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Reduced recycling hours under review

Pemberton transfer station moved to industrial park

By Cindy Filipenko

Not everyone is happy with the changes to Pemberton’s recycling and transfer stations. Contractor Alan LeBlanc, who operates the new joint facility in conjunction with Carney’s Waste Systems, recognizes this and says a plan on how to best address these concerns is in the works.

The combination recycling centre and transfer station, located at the Pemberton Industrial Park, replaces both the Rutherford Transfer Station and the recycling facility that was adjacent to the information centre at the entrance to town. That site was under constant criticism as a local eyesore due to the nature of the facility and the carelessly discarded garbage surrounding the bins.

“I think the change really improves the look of town,” said LeBlanc.

He also believes that once people get used to the change, the new centre will prove to be an asset to the community.

“Every time something changes people have a hard time getting used to it,” said LeBlanc.

The old site, which was in an open location, was accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The new facility is fenced in and has a schedule that parallels that of the now closed Rutherford Transfer Station. The hours are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. and on both weekend days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“The recycling and transfer station is run by the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District,” explained LeBlanc. “We have a negotiated contract to operate the station for a certain number of hours.”

How those hours are applied may also be up for negotiation.

“We’re trying to see when our peak usage hours are. It’s been suggested that maybe we stay open later one evening,” said LeBlanc.

He said he was aware that the SLRD had received calls from concerned citizens and that he and his partners would work with the local government to come up with solutions that work for everyone.

“I’m quite pleased with the amount of recycling I’ve seen people doing. Other businesses in the industrial park have noticed an increase in both traffic and business being brought into the area. And that’s great, because the industrial park needs help,” said LeBlanc.

The new facility also offers the area a trash compactor. Compactor rates begin at 75¢ per bag and are adjusted on a fee scale depending upon the amount of household garbage being disposed.

“We’re also going to be taking a far wider array of material in the future. Things such as drywall,” he said.

While the scope of materials or the implementation date is uncertain, LeBlanc is certain of one thing.

“The SLRD really wants to make this work. It’ll just take some time.”