Developing a recycling program for the construction industry in the Bow Valley has not been an easy task.
But a new program at Francis Cooke Landfill is making it easy to track diversion rates for projects valley-wide.
Bow Valley Builders and Developers Association chair Terry Burch said this week the history of recycling has seen six to seven years of committees dealing with the issue with varying degrees of success.
“But we learned a lot,” Burch said. “Based on that experience, we thought we would take a different approach towards recycling.”
That saw BOWDA approach the landfill to see what would work, from its standpoint, to track recycling data and which would be easy to administer.
Burch said a new software program at the landfill does a lot of the administrative duties for a recycling program for the industry.
Previous policies to track diversion rates were cumbersome and overly administrative, he added.
“It had the right intention, but that is why it failed in the past,” Burch said.
BOWDA has asked Canmore and the MD of Bighorn to consider making a waste diversion program form part of its development permit application process.
Burch said the form provides an identification number at the landfill per project and the software tracks weights of what is being recycled.
“The administration is much simpler than any program in the past, which is why we think we would get better participation,” he said.
Tipping fees at the landfill also favour recycling or sorting waste.
The charge for diverted or 100 per cent recycling material is $45 to $50 per tonne, sorted or a minimum of 50 per cent recycled $95 per tonne and unsorted is $180 to $270 per tonne.
Councillor Hans Helder, who sits on the Bow Valley Waste Management Commission (BVWMC) board, pointed out recycled material is marketable for the landfill, which is operated by the commission.
On June 12 during a presentation to Bighorn council, Coun. Paul Ryan said BOWDA’s request to include a tracking form as part of the development permit process could create more work for municipality staff.
Ryan also suggested BOWDA get the project endorsed by the Bow Valley Waste Management Commission.
Burch said the form would be simple. It would be used to register a development project and then later, provide results.
BOWDA executive director Ron Remple said project reporting would be simple, as well.
When a project is completed, BVWMC can send the data to the municipality to fulfill certification. At the end of the year you can get a final report, ‘here’s the amount of recycling’,” Remple said.
Reeve Dene Cooper said he saw value in the program, but added it had to be simple if it was going to be accepted.
“I do agree businesses should lead excellence and efficiency in going the next step, and this is the next logical step,” he said. “A cumbersome, awkward, time consuming process will probably not be embraced with open arms.