Steinbach Approves New Recycling Contract and Commits to Recycling Bins for Automated Collection –

Steinbach City Council has awarded its next recycling collection contract which will include switching to larger recycling bins for an automated collection system.

On Tuesday, Councilor Michael Zwaagstra offered to award the recycling collection contract.

“We were all surprised when we received the notification earlier this year of Eastman Recycling ending its recycling service. They provided very good service for a long time, but obviously we had to look for other options. The city put out a request for proposals and we received two. The reason we attribute to Bristal is that their proposition, overall, is the one that best suits our needs and is also very close in price to what we were paying before.

This new recycling collection contract will cost the city $566,666 per year, compared to the Eastman Recycling Services contract which cost approximately $500,000 per year.

Mayor Earl Funk says he was happy to see Bristal Hauling come in with the lowest bid.

“It’s nice to see a local southeast company able to take care of recycling in our community. I believe if I’m right, the MR of Hannover also engages with Bristal, so I think we’ll see a lot of their trucks in our area and I think that’s good. It means jobs locally and it means we will continue to recycle and we will continue to keep these products out of our landfill.

According to the administration, Bristal Hauling will take recycling from Steinbach to a final processor in Winnipeg. The contract between the city and Bristal Hauling will come into effect in December and run until 2025.

Councilor Bill Hiebert was impressed: “It’s a three-year contract and there’s no year-to-year increase. It’s a bit more than we’re paying at this point, but with constant prices over three years, I think it’s a good plan.

The board voted to approve the contract unanimously.

However, that was not all. City manager Troy Warkentin noted that as part of this contract, Steinbach will also switch to larger recycling bins.

“There were options that were looked at, one of them was for the service provider to provide the containers. The other option was for the city of Steinbach to launch and provide recycling carts for the service.”

Following the administration’s recommendation, Council voted to purchase 6,500 recycling carts for Steinbach residents from a company called Toter who submitted the lowest bid. The bins will cost a total of $515,000 and the funds to purchase them will come from the city’s environmental reserve.

Steinbach solid waste manager Eldon Wallman brought a bag of recycling to the board meeting for context.

Councilor Jac Siemens moved to approve this purchase.

“I’ve been a proponent of moving towards this type of recycling bin, and one day hopefully a trash can as well. I think it reduces labor requirements and reduces risk of injury, in this case to the contractor. I think it’s a good decision.”

Zwaagstra then spoke, noting that “some people may recall that a few years ago I expressed my opposition to the concept of automated trash cans. I think given the extent to which they are used and accepted, I think I spoke in a hurry,” adding “it seems like a reasonable use of funds.”

Each bin will be numbered and these numbers will be linked to a residential address so they can be brought back if lost.

At this point, Mayor Earl Funk says the city’s recycling contract will only cover residential pickup and not businesses.

“At this point, the city council was going to make sure that we were going to take care of the residential at that time. It can always be an ongoing conversation that we have, but we saw the need, we saw that the biggest fire to put out was the residential collection.