The City of Terrace deserves sincere commendation for its recent decision to step into the 21st century and provide a viable recycling program for its residents. Intelligently crafted with the assistance of the Regional District of Kitimat-Stikine and several private ventures, the municipality has designated a convenient location to launch its downtown Terrace recycling pilot project.
While a long time coming, residents of Terrace and area are sure to benefit. However, if the City of Terrace and its partners are serious about making organized and sponsored recycling a success they should consider the following:
1. Promotion. People must know about it. The Downtown Terrace Recycling Pilot Project should be well advertised and enthusiastically supported by the city. Furthermore, signage should be visible throughout Terrace which can easily direct people to engage in their recycling activities. No brainer.
2. The depot must be well maintained. Sure, it’s a self-serve recycling depot, but the City of Terrace can once again put our money where its mouth is and ensure a modestly attractive and safe site for residents.
3. Accessibility: This is likely to be a far less expensive method than curb side pick-up and while yet only a pilot project with one central location (on the southside of the Co-op property with access from both Emerson and Kalum Street) the City of Terrace should begin planning now for the success of the project and consider multiple locations for future depots, such as in Thornhill and towards the Kitsum-Kalum area.
4. Don’t Stop With the Depot! The central downtown location of the depot is ideal for residents of Terrace and area to continue on the path to environmental friendliness. Host events and promotions from the depot location such as composting workshops, used paint round ups, and compost bin and rain barrel sales.
5. Winter is obviously not the best time to start a pilot recycling program from an outdoor depot. If the City of Terrace wants a more accurate measure of usage and success of their project they should begin their serious considerations in April. In the meantime, monitor and report progress on a monthly basis and fully embrace recommendation #1.
Having been employed by two different municipalities in the past, it is more than understandable that some programs take time to fully mature. Likewise, as the City of Terrace faces a declining tax base it is difficult for citizens to always want expanded services from their municipality.
However, when you look around Terrace and notice all the reusable grocery bag toting shoppers and other proponents of environmental friendliness, it is hard to imagine that Terrace is only now slated to get a decent recycling program. Also, when was the last time you heard of a municipality that has ever regretted the decision to provide enhanced recycling services to its citizens?
Yes, while better late than never, residents of Terrace should be pleased to join the rest of Canada in a big step forwards in sustainable practices.