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HomeWorld newsProposed Fredericton bylaw intended to increase recycling access - New Brunswick

Proposed Fredericton bylaw intended to increase recycling access – New Brunswick

On Thursday, Fredericton’s Environmental Stewardship Committee voted in favour of a proposed bylaw amendment that would mandate that apartment buildings with more than five units provide space for recycling.

It would also require building owners to register with Circular Materials, the non-profit now providing Fredericton’s recycling services.

“This provides equal access to recycling service to our residents regardless of the dwelling type they choose to live in,” Jillian Hudgins, an environmental strategist with the city, said during the meeting.

The bylaw will be presented at city council on Monday, July 8.

Years of concerns

Environmental Stewardship Committee vice-chair Margo Sheppard said this comes after a lot of complaints.

“People just feel that as a resident of a multi unit, they’re not able to participate in recycling their goods,” she said.

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Fredericton doesn’t provide recycling services to apartment buildings over five units except through blue bins at two sites in the city, but starting in 2025, Circular Materials will.

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Residents have raised concerns about the lack of curbside recycling for years, but for the New Brunswick Apartment Owners Association, the proposed changes are concerning.

Lack of space, costs a concern

The association’s president, Willy Scholten, did not provide an interview, but in an emailed response, he said the bylaw will cause a number of logistical issues.

“Most properties would not have existing space to dedicate to this use as their space would currently be used to providing housing, parking, etc. for their tenants as this was not a requirement when the buildings were constructed,” he wrote.

He also raised concerns about the financial burden of paying to set up the areas, maintain them and collect the recycling.

“Adding a costs to rental housing providers will necessitate an increase in the rental amounts for their tenants to cover the added costs,” he wrote.

But Sheppard said Circular Materials will cover the cost of collection and bins for the multi-unit buildings.

She said the council is also working on a grant program to help small- and medium-sized properties add the space, and said the new service will help some owners save money.

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“Apartment building owners have to pay for tipping fees for their garbage, garbage collection, and this new approach is going to cut down on the amount of garbage going to the landfill,” she said.

But Scholten is also worried that collection costs will ultimately come back to building owners after a few years of the program.

“If this change is made for recycling the law should also state that this will not change in the future,” he wrote.

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