It seems municipalities were caught off guard by this week’s announcement by enVision Community Living.
The organization informed the public on Wednesday that it will be closing Eastman Recycling Services for the next year. Executive Director Jeannette Delong explains that in recent years they have seen the recycling industry move towards a highly automated model as their business continues to operate with a hands-on workforce. She notes that keeping pace with the industry, along with rising operating and capital costs, and managing increased liabilities, is taking them away from their original goal.
DeLong adds that the board and management of enVision Community Living have given this a lot of thought and realize that he must remain committed to creating meaningful opportunities for community members. She says that’s no longer possible at Eastman Recycling Services, as pressure to speed up automation increases and opportunities for manual jobs diminish.
“It was a little shocking because we thought they were here for the long haul,” Hanover Reeve Stan Toews said. “Because we have been doing business with them for many, many years.”
Eastman Recycling Services currently collects recyclables throughout the Rural Municipality of Hanover. He notes that they will discuss the issue with local waste collection contractors and neighboring municipalities.
“That means we’ll have to go to the drawing board and see if we can find a new supplier,” adds Toews. “Or I hope there is someone who wants to take over this operation.”
Toews says he believes recycling is becoming increasingly popular in his municipality, noting that over the years the amount of recycling has steadily increased. For the past several years, Hanover has spent money purchasing recycling bins so Eastman Recycling can operate a less labor intensive operation.
“We were very happy with their service, sad to see them go,” notes Toews. “But I can also see that their tenure is somewhat different, I guess, from what we think. I wish them well in their new venture.”
Meanwhile, Steinbach Mayor Earl Funk says they, too, have always appreciated the quality of Eastman Recycling’s work.
“We have always enjoyed working with enVision, Eastman Recycling, they have always been easy to work with,” he says. “And we’re just waiting for the administration to keep working on it.”
And, in the Rural Municipality of Ste. Anne, Acting Director General Nadine Vielfaure says her municipality has not yet had time to make or discuss alternative arrangements.
“Our staff will be working with Eastman Recycling, MultiMaterial Stewardship Manitoba and other stakeholders over the coming weeks and months to transition to a new service provider while maintaining the same quality of service to our residents,” says- she. “The Rural Municipality of Sainte-Anne strongly believes that diverting waste from landfills and reusing materials through recycling efforts has significant economic and environmental benefits for us locally. and global. We will strive to find appropriate solutions to ensure that sustainable practices are encouraged to reduce our carbon footprint. and fight climate change.”