The Town of Bashaw, Alberta will poll surrounding municipalities to see if they’re willing to chip in on a hazardous waste collection event. The discussion was held at the March 1 regular meeting of council.

Town Chief Administrative officer (CAO) Theresa Fuller asked councillors to decide how they’d like to proceed with a hazardous waste “round up” event. 

“The Town of Bashaw provides a household hazardous waste round up every second year,” stated Fuller in her report to council.

“In 2021 the town hosted a round up and the processing fee was $4,266.15. We were planning to host another event this year, however we received 2023 processing fee at a total of $7,131. The quote was based on the volume of product processed in 2021.”

Readers should note many communities hold hazardous material or toxic round up events to collect such materials, properly dispose of them and ensure they don’t end up in sewers, water infrastructure, groundwater or other delicate areas.

Fuller advised councillors the quote was higher than expected, and the only provincial grant money she could find for this event covered promotional costs. 

She noted the landfill in the City of Camrose no longer accepts household hazardous waste and instead recommends residents go to a private business. However, the city offered to take Bashaw household hazardous waste if Bashaw helped pay the cost.

The CAO noted councillors had three options: hold the toxic round up with local taxpayers picking up the bill, cancel the event or sign an agreement with the City of Camrose for their help.

When asked if this program was different from the spring clean-up, Fuller answered yes, the spring/fall events include unwanted items that are picked up by town staff while the toxic round up is for hazardous materials such as car batteries and paint. The spring clean-up event also includes a fee for service.

Coun. Kyle McIntosh asked if the toxic round up used to be annually held, to which Fuller answered yes, but it was changed to semi-annually because there are fewer grants available for this.

Coun. Jackie Northey asked if users pay anything for the toxic round up to which the CAO answered no and also pointed out Bashaw doesn’t have anything in a bylaw or policy requiring the users to pay for this service. 

Fuller also stated there seems to be a lot of encouragement to recycle but few programs to help pay for it.

During discussion it was pointed out some users who drop toxic materials off are not residents of Bashaw but rather of the surrounding municipalities. 

The CAO noted organizers have never actually kept track of where the users are from though.

McIntosh stated he felt the hazardous waste round up is a good program but also felt Bashaw should have some partners to help pay for it.

Coun. Bryan Gust, looking at the quote of about $7,000 from the landfill, stated he felt that amount of money probably didn’t justify spending a lot of time organizing partners for this program.

Councillors eventually decided to have town staff contact surrounding municipalities to see if they’d be willing to kick in some funding to help pay for the household hazardous waste round up program.

By Stu Salkeld, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Mar 13, 2023

This item reprinted with permission from   East Central Alberta Review   Coronation, Alberta

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