The mayor of the Town of Millet feels Alberta’s reputation as a leader in recycling is in danger as municipalities are left holding the bag.
During the regular meeting of Millet council Mar. 27, mayor Tony Wadsworth submitted his regular report for council’s consideration. The report was based on his attendance at the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association spring leader’s caucus held Mar. 14 and 15.
As part of a working group format, participants discussed current AUMA initiatives and had a chance to offer input. Wadsworth said one of the programs is quite vital, though not very glamorous: solid waste management.
“This session covered two RFDs submitted by AUMA members looking for support in a letter-writing campaign to lobby the provincial government strongly to introduce solid waste recycling legislation that maximizes the ability municipalities to recover monies they expend when supporting recycling initiatives, such as our blue bag program,” stated Wadsworth in his report.
During discussion Wadsworth said he became concerned after the subject of recycling came up; the mayor noted he was concerned that Alberta doesn’t have a law that helps municipalities recover expenses related to recycling. In fact, Alberta is the only province in the country that’s in this situation.
Wadsworth said he was quite frustrated that the Town of Millet pays these recycling fees but has no way to recover related costs.
As councilors discussed the issue, Wadsworth reiterated he was concerned about this issue. The mayor said he felt it was unfair that Canadians in other provinces could see their municipalities recover these costs, while Albertans can’t.
Councilor Pat Garrett said it appears that there are a lot of costs involved in recycling, and if the municipality can’t recover them somehow, it’s almost like municipalities are being discouraged to do it.
Town manager Terri Pelletier said the town will once again be hosting a toxic round-up in June so area residents can turn in things like cans of old paint, but some things are always dropped off that the recycling centre won’t accept.
Wadsworth said most people would think the Alberta government would use revenue collected from the carbon levy to aid in recycling issues like this.
Pelletier noted carbon levy monies paid by Millet residents don’t come back to the town, but instead go into general Alberta government coffers.
Councilors agreed to send a letter to the government to point out the problem municipalities face with recycling expenses.