Cost of recycling may increase as Kamloops looks to renew contract

KAMLOOPS – Emterra Environmental may be awarded the City of Kamloops’ recycling contract even after this summer’s labour dispute and a new bid almost double the cost of the previous one.

A report by city staff will be coming to council tomorrow, Dec. 1, recommends Emterra get the contract.

The current contract with the city is set to expire by the end of this year, Dec. 31, 2015, forcing staff to open the competitive bid process.

Two proposals were received – a new bid from Emterra and Cascades Recovery Inc. – and scored against factors including pricing and industry experience.

City staff is recommending the contract to Emterra, even at almost double the previous cost.

The city’s current contract with Emterra is valued at $460,000 annually where the new bid comes in at $845,000. The cost per metric tonne of recyclables has gone up from $92 to $169 forcing the price of the overall contract much higher than years previous.

The Cascades submission proposed an even higher cost and didn’t meet the city’s needs says public works director Jen Fretz. She is unsure why Emterra’s metric tonnage cost has changed so drastically from one year to the next but suspects it has a lot to do with lower commodity markets.

Because of the significant cost increase, staff is anticipating to bring forward an increase in solid waste fees to council. The details of the rate increase will be made clear when staff come forward in December with 2016 utility rate increases.

Emterra Environmental was engaged in a lengthy labour dispute this past summer. During the strike, curbside recycling pickup ceased in Kamloops. Recycling depots around the city were also closed, forcing residents to either store their recyclables or bring them to depots like General Grants.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Dana Reynolds at or call 250-819-6089. To contact an editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

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