In recent weeks, I have had several opportunities to look back over the 22 years since recycling began in Flin Flon.
Many individuals and single events were critical to recycling being established in our community.
The first two years paper was collected in a semi-trailer at the Ross Lake Market Garden one weekend a month. It showed that people wanted to recycle.
One afternoon Bob Fortier volunteered to help. He did almost every day for the next 15 years. His daily attention to details and his experience organizing space, operating equipment and shipping were a huge help. Recycling wouldn’t be what it is without his dedicated service.
In 1995 we began getting paid for paper. We shared loads going to Edmonton with Thompson Recycling. That brief partnership allowed us to benefit from very high prices for recyclables at that time.
That year the government mandated program to significantly subsidize recycling provided more revenue as paper prices fell significantly.
In 1996, Flin Flon City Council with Mayor Graham Craig gave us a grant of $65,000.00 to purchase a baler and other equipment. That single decision established the recycling program in our community.
In 2004, we purchased the building at 9 Timber Lane and began running the Flin Flon Landfill. The rental income and landfill contract got us through the tough years. It continues to subsidize the Recycling program.
A business plan that included charging for pickup services and a new funding arrangement with Flin Flon and Creighton allowed the program to continue. The decision in late 2013 to send materials to Winnipeg for sorting means the Recycling program has moved from surviving to planning ahead.
Recycling is here to stay.