Limited space has forced Metro to send its excess tins up the street to Steel Pacific Recycling, where the wall of scrap metal continues to grow. “We are paying to get rid of some of the material,” said Doug Stevens, Metro’s plant manager.
The CRD and recyclers are committed to keeping blue box pickups operating, but to make that feasible, change is needed, said Steel Pacific marketing manager Reid Hudson.
The two private companies are locked into CRD contracts to handle recyclables until 2012, and they pay the regional district a guaranteed ‘floor’ price for materials picked up at curbside material.
As a matter of cash flow, Steel Pacific is requesting that it be permitted to pay the CRD for the material after it’s been sold, rather than on receipt of the recyclables, as has been the case. “We have to be up front because clearly, you can’t survive without everybody playing their part in it, and it effects everyone,” Hudson said.
Commodities that a month ago were in the midst of record highs have fallen off the map. When Steel Pacific was paying sellers between $225 and $240 a tonne for scrap metal, they now are paying $20.
The situation with paper is even more drastic. Where not long ago Metro was receiving $100 a tonne from processors, the lack of interest from buyers means Metro is being forced to pay $30 a tonne to get rid of it, Stevens noted. “We are charging our customers to bring material into the facility,” he said. “Six months ago we were paying them for it.”
What we are seeing already, and I wonder if others have the same experience: with our bi-weekly garbage pickup (Saanich) we have received notices on weight of the cans and improper material (what, is the guy going through it?). Never had a previous problem in 3 years, and we have cut down on garbage.
Blue boxes - I watched the pick up crew go through the blue boxes in the neighbourhood and set aside anything with food scraps, plastic on paper or stuff in the wrong bag/box...never seen that before, and they refused to answer questions (don't blame them actually, as it was raining and they were obviously frustrated as well)
With 6 adults and kids in our house, plus a dog, 4 cats and 2 rabbits - we must be careful with garbage, and employ the blue box/bag system as much as possible. Pick-up is only every 2 weeks in our area (summer is hell with maggots). Any further restrictions would be a hardship.