Recycling makes a difference!
Stats from the Bigger Picture
We usually get this info for the previous year around Earth Day. It is a little late this year.
Recycling makes a difference!
Funding the Program
Originally published Nov 18/15 The Reminder. Flin Flon, Mb. Sponsored by North of 53 Consumers Coop.
The community recycling program had no bank account in the beginning. Volunteers did the work. Sponsors were found to pay for shipping to Winnipeg when a truckload of paper had been collected.
A used semi-trailer was purchased by selling advertising on it. It was parked at the Market Garden. Another organization hosted the summer student grant.
This changed when recycling moved into a rented building in 1994. The program became eligible for the recycling subsidy by adding #1 plastic, tin, aluminium and glass to the items collected.
Prices for selling recyclables were very high at first which helped pay the bills. They fell dramatically after a year.
The City of Flin Flon provided a one-time grant of $65,000.00 in 1996 which allowed recycling to continue and grow. It was used to purchase a baler, a truck and trailer.
Some funding was provided each year by Flin Flon and Creighton. The amount did not increase significantly for over ten years.
In 2004, the Recycling Centre began managing the Flin Flon landfill and purchased a building with a tenant to subsidize the recycling program.
Prices for recyclables fell dramatically in 2008 forcing the end of the recycling pickup services and the suspension of cardboard recycling. The municipal governments provided emergency funding so recycling could survive.
In 2009, the Board held a public meeting to see if the community wanted a recycling program. There was strong support from a large crowd, so a new business plan was developed.
Pickup services returned with a fee to cover their cost. A per capita funding arrangement began with Flin Flon and Creighton. Denare Beach declined to participate.
Next week: one decision that made a big difference.
Originally published Nov 13/15 The Reminder. Flin Flon, Mb. Sponsored by North of 53 Consumers Coop.
The community recycling program is run by the Flin Flon & District Environment Council, Inc., a non-profit corporation formed in 1995.
A non-profit corporation is not owned by anyone. No one makes a profit. A volunteer Board of Directors is elected to manage the organization.
Two of the Board members, Greg East and Jan Modler, have served since the beginning. They have been active on environmental issues most of their lives.
Jan recalls getting a grant as a university student to work with local children’s camps raising awareness of the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling.
Greg was a member of Concerned Residents against Pollution (CRAP) that focused on air quality issues in the community in the mid ‘80’s. The name was later changed to Concerned Citizens Against Pollution (CCAP).
Greg was invited to be part of the Flin Flon Round Table on the Environment and the Economy in the late 80’s which involved people from many parts of the community. As that group dwindled, it became the Flin Flon Environment Committee which Jan joined in 1992.
Greg and Jan’s dedication to recycling has been a big part of its survival through tough times. They have contributed to the day to day operations when needed as well as providing valuable information and perspectives in the decisions at Board meetings.
Greg found the buildings that have housed the recycling program. His ‘Retire the Mortgage’ fundraiser was successful by the end of 2012.
They are best known for hosting musical fundraising events. Greg finds great talent and sells tickets. Jan organizes and decorates. They both make sure everyone has a good time.
Jan and Greg’s contributions are another reason community recycling happens here.
Originally published Nov 4/15 The Reminder. Flin Flon, Mb. Sponsored by North of 53 Consumers Coop.
The Recycling Centre has employed many people since the first person was hired in 1996. Most of the work was done by volunteers at that time.
The number of paid staff grew within a year and has fluctuated over time. The highest number was nine. Today the work is done by 4 full time employees and one part time, two part time volunteers and an administrator.
Two long term employees came to the Centre as part of a provincial job placement program that subsidized wages for six months.
Wayne Freund began in January, 2003. He was hired to help with the curbside program which began in February. After getting his licence he drove the truck. He also sorted materials and later, was trained to operate the baler and forklift.
Wayne found other employment twice, but helped out at the Recycling Centre when he could. He returned to recycling full time in 2011 and became the floor supervisor in 2013.
Wayne’s abilities to organize and work with people in a very positive way are a big part of the success of the recycling program today.
Randy Whitmore began at the Centre with wage subsidy in December 2006. He assisted with recycling pickups from homes and businesses and sorted materials at the Centre. He walked to work every day for two years when he lived in Creighton.
Randy works hard every day even though his job hasn’t changed very much. He has worked well with many people. He knows about recycling in the community. He is an important member of the team moving recyclables in and out of the Centre.
The wage subsidy program has resulted in success for these employees and for recycling.
Pictures of these valuable employees will be added soon.
October 2015 Recycling Stats
October total – 40,160 kg
Newsprint – 3,338 kg
Co-mingled* - 8,817 kg
Office Paper – 4,152 kg
Cardboard – 19,268 kg
Glass – 3,847 kg
Books - 501 kg
Total for 2015 – 384,801 kg
Total for 2014 at the end of October - 351,861 kg
Batteries - 67 kg
* Co-mingled is unsorted materials sent to Winnipeg for sorting.
The numbers were a little lower in October but still over 40 tonnes which is great. Crunching the numbers, the increase is still in cardboard and office paper. We need to get the co-mingle numbers up as that would indicate that more homes are recycling.
If you have any ideas about how to do that, please let us know.
Originally published Oct 28/15 The Reminder. Flin Flon, Mb. Sponsored by North of 53 Consumers Coop.
Last week I gave a presentation about our recycling program at a provincial recycling conference.
The process reminded me of how many people have contributed to making recycling a success.
I will introduce a few in the next couple of weeks.
My biggest hero is Bob Fortier.
Bob asked if he could help one day at the Market Garden in 1993. Of course I said yes. He volunteered almost every day for the next 15 years.
Bob kept things clean at the Market Garden until we moved indoors in 1994. His expertise from working in the warehouse was great as we got organized. He knew how to drive a forklift, load a semi and solve every day problems. He created things that made the space and the work better.
He was very concerned about the environment. He was a great gardener, creating an oasis of beauty in an industrial area.
We miss Bob. A complete tribute is in documents on Flin Flon Recycling Facebook page.
My second biggest hero is Doreen Murray.
Doreen was hired as the administrator in 2001. She managed things through thick and thin until she retired in 2013.
There were many changes during that time. Curbside and business pickups were begun, dropped, then started again. The Centre moved to a new building. Managing landfill staffing was added to her responsibilities.
Prices for materials fell. Finances were challenging as the Centre needed extra cash to continue running two years in a row. She balanced things while a new financial plan was worked out.
She managed between 5 – 11 employees. She supported them in many ways which they appreciated.
Doreen’s dedication ensured that community recycling survived and grew.
Deb Odegaard has been with the Flin Flon Community Recycling program since it began in 1992. She became the Administrator in 2013.
Deb writes a column 'The Recycling Bin' in The Reminder, Flin Flon's newspaper. Past columns are posted here along with recycling stats and anything else on her mind.