Recycling bins at the curbside. After over a month of being closed, Kitimat’s recycling facility is opening up to the public for cardboard recycling only. (File photo)

Kitimat recycling facility reopens, only accepting cardboard currently

The facility had been closed since March 18

After over a month of Kitimat’s recycling facility shutting its doors due to COVID-19 the site is opening up again, but with a number of changes, the biggest being it will only be accepting cardboard materials.

After closing on March 18, Kitimat Understanding the Environment (KUTE) first reopened its doors on April 22, with such a high volume of cardboard received by the facility that the District had to put a notice out approximately 30 minutes before it was scheduled to close asking the public not to bring any more.

KUTE is now open to the public for cardboard recycling every Tuesday and Wednesday from 12:30-4:30 p.m. For commercial cardboard, the facility is open on Mondays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. until noon.

READ MORE: KUTE needs more room to recycle

In a April 20 release by the District they said strict safety procedures would be observed at KUTE to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including enhanced signage and barricades on site to direct public.

“Please adhere to all rules for the safety of employees, yourself, and the community,” the District said, adding that people using the facility should expect delays due to the new restrictions in place.

The District told the Kitimat Northern Sentinel a solution for the recycling of non-cardboard materials has not been identified yet and that the District is assisting KUTE with their limited re-opening but ultimately the service is an independently-owned non-profit governed by a board of directors.

“In our supportive role, the District is not aware of a proposed timeline for KUTE to start accepting materials other than cardboard,” they said in an emailed statement. The District said it is also not aware of any timeline for the re-opening of the privately operated Kitimat Bottle Depot. “The decision for the KUTE facility to only receive cardboard right now was an operational decision that was made for the safety of the employees and the community.”

In addition to respecting the above protocols, KUTE is also asking the public not to leave material outside of the depot, noting that it is a hazard and can contaminate an entire load, making all the material non-recyclable.

The facility is suggesting people try and hold onto their non-cardboard recyclables if possible as opposed to discarding them in the trash.
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