Put those “blue boxes” back inside, they’re not going anywhere soon, Pat Hickerson, the town’s manager of Operations and Facilities, said yesterday afternoon.
“Because of the highway closures, we’re asking the residents of Fort Frances to pick up their recycling as the trucks won’t be getting through,” he remarked.
“Hopefully, by Monday, you can put them back outside again and pick-ups will resume,” added Hickerson.
There will be a further public notice if recycling can’t get back on track on Monday.
Hickerson noted while the town is working to clean up streets from debris blown by high winds, and mud and sludge from areas like the underpass, the wet, sometimes wind-strewn recyclables don’t help the town look any better.
In related news, Hickerson said the future of recycling here should be clearer next Tuesday, when the deadline elapses for a joint request for proposal from Dryden, Atikokan, and Fort Frances for a contractor.
“Since our service with Dryden ends June 30, we would love to be able to have something going that flips over into July and the service isn’t interrupted,” he noted.
Under the condition of the joint proposal that was sent out last month, potential contractors must provide quotes and details of service if they were to work for each municipality individually or as a group of three, so there’s no guarantee what’s good for Dryden will be good for Fort Frances, Hickerson said.
“So what I’ve done is follow up with the City of Kenora and Koochiching County to the south of us,” he said.
Hickerson is still waiting to hear back from Kenora, which has decided to set up its own processing plant. Under this scenario, the town likely would hire a contractor and do its own pickup, then transport the materials to the Kenora site.
This plant likely won’t be open until mid-July.
Koochiching County also has not provided any prices yet.
“Before they get back to us with that sort of information, they want to do a test run, perhaps one full day’s recyclables and see if they can handle it,” noted Hickerson.