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Firm hired to devise ‘blue box’ strategy

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Fort Frances and Atikokan have teamed up to hire a consultant to devise a “blue box” recycling strategy for both communities.

Town council last night selected Trow Engineering of Brampton to complete a “blue box” recycling strategy at a total cost of $27,485 (plus HST).

Ninety percent of this cost is covered by a provincial grant.

In a report submitted to council at last night’s meeting, Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown said the town had applied for a grant from Waste Diversion Ontario back in March in order to the develop the strategy.

“The main reason to obtain the grant was to ensure that the town moves towards best practices in regards to handling and processing ‘blue box’ materials in the future,” Brown noted.

As well, the WDO mandated that if Fort Frances does not have a recycling strategy in place by the end of 2010, the town will have its “blue box” funding reduced by 15 percent, he added.

In order to maximize the WDO grant, the town approached Atikokan to develop a co-operative “blue box” recycling strategy and they accepted, Brown explained.

Brown later noted Trow Engineering will be holding an open house meeting in each community in November to present the strategy to the public, and get their feedback on local recycling, before it is finalized.

Brown said the town has to be ready for the future when it comes to recycling. For example, Fort Frances, Dryden, and Kenora all ship their recyclables to Metro Materials Recovery in Winnipeg, but what happens if that plant ever closed its doors?

“These are the kinds of things that are important to us, and that’s what’s going to come under all these strategies,” he remarked.

“We want to make sure we’re doing everything right.”

Brown also noted Atikokan uses a “blue bag” system, and take its recyclables to a different materials recovery company, and that maybe the town could learn something new from teaming up with them for the study.

The new strategy also will have to factor in upgrades to the local recycle transfer station which will take place this fall, after which time residents will be able to drop off their recyclables 24/7.

Also last night, council:

•authorized the purchase of 20 replacement lights at the Townshend Theatre at a cost of $7,380 (these funds will come out of the theatre reserve for a stage floor replacement, which will not happen this year due to the fact the public school board did not allocate any matching funds for the replacement in its 2010-11 budget);

•awarded Sunny Cove Camp renovations to Ed Halvorsen, Galbraith Electric, and Pryde Plumbing (the town received a $100,000 Ontario Trillium Foundation grant earlier this summer for structural, electrical, and plumbing renovations there);

•directed the preparation of a zoning bylaw amendment for 420 Mowat Ave. to permit additional residential use on the main floor;

•directed that Northern Nutrition, the owner of a sign on town property at Second Street East and Central Avenue, be requested to remove it no later than Dec. 31 and that the grounds be restored to their original condition (this is due to the fact the business has relocated to Scott Street, thus changing the circumstances of the original arrangement with the town);

•approved a report outlining polices on workplace violence, workplace harassment, working alone, and how to complain about violence and harassment;

•heard a verbal update on local construction activities;

•heard a verbal update from Mayor Roy Avis re: the 2010 Association of the Municipalities of Ontario conference held Aug. 15-18 in Windsor; and

•referred a request from the Fort Frances Lions Club for council’s assistance in extending the walkway at Lions Park to the Operations and Facilities executive committee for its recommendation.

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