TERRACE city council didn’t come up with any immediate solution to losing a free recycling service at its meeting last night.
But councillor Brian Downie did put forth a motion to do “a recycling study for the city of Terrace and invite the citizens of Terrace to engage.”
Councillor Lynne Christiansen said that “we should be able to do something that is sustainable and profitable to people in the north.”
Council finally resolved to implement a “comprehensive recycling strategy” that will include opportunities for public engagement
Waste Management is closing down its self-serve depot March 31, saying it is costing too much money.
The company does not charge for the service and it is not getting any other financial assistance.
Waste Management offered the service nearly a year ago, placing bins at its facilities here in Terrace.
The city had been operating its own service, a pilot project set up at the old Co-op property using two local companies, Geier Waste and Do-Your-Part, until Waste Management said it would take on the task at no charge.
Several councillors said they discussed the issue at recent conferences and committee meetings, and are searching for solutions to Terrace’s unique challenges being a smaller population far from recycling plants in the south.
Council also heard a presentation by Barbara Tetz, president of the Green Thumb Garden Society. Tetz requested council provide $2,500 to install an irrigation pipe off the city’s main line in order to provide water for the community gardens on Evergreen St.
A previous grant from the Rotary Club for $5,000 had not accounted for this unforeseen irrigation cost, Tetz said, and prepping the topsoil for spring gardening is temporarily delayed.
Council voted in favour of covering the cost of the new water line upon director of development services David Block’s suggestion that actual costs would probably be below $2,500.
A second presentation was given during the Committee of the Whole section by environmental and planning consultant Norma Kerby on her draft agricultural area plan.
“You are at the forefront in terms of supporting agriculture in your bylaws,” Kerby said, praising the city for its vision of agriculture and farming compared to other municipalities but then pointing out areas where they fall short.
With Terrace occupying a fertile zone unique for these higher latitudes, Kerby sees the agricultural opportunities to be “a big selling card for the city,” and an alternative to industrial development on some sections of nutrient-rich soil.
One problem, said Kerby, is that the Agricultural Land Reserve (ALR) is located down on the Skeena floodplain which gets washed out by the surge of spring river water.
Her general recommendation to council is to continue to foster local farming and agriculture initiatives through progressive changes that expand agricultural zoning within the city limits.
The final draft plan will be released in a week or so, and it will provide a comprehensive study of local microclimates and soils as well as more recommendations to be discussed in future council meetings.
The city’s sustainability coordinator Tara Irwin also spoke last night, giving council a look at the draft energy and emissions plan which charts greenhouse gas emissions in the area.
While Irwin said the province monitors and legislates limits on most industrial emissions, it is up to the city to enact bylaws that will help lower residential emissions, such as insulation codes to cut down on fuel burned for heating.
Irwin also presented new bins available for the city’s compost program at a cost of two dollars.