Facing a heavy debt burden, deteriorating trucks, and a delay in government funding, the Northwestern Ontario Recycling Association (NORA) may hand over its operations to a private contractor.
That would mean a new system with clear plastic bags, bi-weekly pick-ups, and a chance for NORA to recover from a steadily increasing debt.
The cost of replacing aging trucks, the $500,000 price tag to retool the Dryden processing plant, and its existing $450,000 debt has overwhelmed NORA to the point where other solutions had to be found.
“We just basically have a very inefficient collection system,” Coun. Deane Cunningham noted during Monday night’s regular council meeting here.
While the Thunder Bay company, Recool Inc., would continue with residential driveway pickups, commercial owners would have to negotiate their own pickups with the company.
The new contractor also would require homeowners to purchase clear plastic bags, with fibre such as paper and cardboard separated from plastics and metal recyclables.
Other limits also would be in place, such as only plastics numbered one and two would be picked up. “Those are the only two plastics that have any value,” noted Coun. Cunningham.
The company would do the pickups at a cost of $9 per capita. The remaining dollar from the $10 per capita NORA currently collects from area municipalities would go towards repaying the debt.
NORA also will dispose of its assets—such as trucks, blue boxes, and the Dryden plant—while maintaining its office to co-ordinate recycling and handle Waste Diversion Organization (WDO) funding.
“In the short term, I think we have to keep it going until we’ve got it up and running,” noted Coun. Cunningham.
Town council approved the recommendation from NORA to proceed with the new contract.