Recycling services may be required at apartments, condominiums

Residents of apartment and condominium buildings in Sylvan Lake may soon have facilities

Residents of apartment and condominium buildings in Sylvan Lake may soon have facilities for recycling paper, cardboard and other items.

Town councillors, at their meeting Mar. 25, unanimously approved a motion directing staff to prepare a bylaw which would make it mandatory for owners of buildings with more than 12 residential units to provide the services at their cost.

The bylaw would then be back before council for approval before coming into force.

The proposal came after eight-year-old Dane Ross presented a petition at the Feb. 11 council meeting urging action be taken on recycling for people living in apartments. Councillors then asked staff to prepare a report.

The town’s current Green Box residential curb side recycling serves Sylvan Lake residences, including trailer parks and multi-family dwellings up to and including 12 units in size, wrote John Watson, public works manager, in his report to council.

As well, the recycle facility at the Waste Transfer Site accepts cardboard and a number of other products such as paint, e-waste, and tires, but does not accept paper, tins, or glass.

Watson indicated there are 13 multi-family buildings that would be affected by a bylaw. “A recent inspection of all 13 multi-family dwellings identified that there are no observable on-site recycling services.”

“No other Alberta municipality that we could identify currently requires mandatory onsite recycling for large multi-family dwellings although Calgary and Stettler are considering similar bylaws,” Watson’s report said. He added Abbotsford, B.C. does require implementation of recycling in multi-family dwellings utilizing the private sector to provide commercial type dumpsters to dispose of recyclable products at an approved facility at a cost to the owner of the building.

“This is a great way for us to move forward,” said Councillor Dale Plante. “I’m very much in favour of this. I don’t think it’s cost prohibitive.”

Watson’s report projected the average building cost at $150 per month based on 48 residential units or approximately $3.13 per month per tenant. That’s below what other town residents are charged for the green box service ($4.17 per month).

The per unit price would fluctuated depending on the size of the building, he suggested.

“With 629 units, that’s a huge amount of recycling directed from the landfill if we create the bylaw,” said Mayor Susan Samson.