January 25, 2016 8:52 pm
Updated: January 26, 2016 8:37 pm

City council rejects curbside recycling resolution in 5-4 vote

WATCH ABOVE: Any thought that Lethbridge city council would move forward with curbside recycling was defeated again on Monday, and it was a close and emotional vote. Blake Lough reports.

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LETHBRIDGE – Members of Lethbridge City Council rejected the latest resolution to implement residential curbside recycling Monday in a 5-4 vote.

The Official Business resolution from Councillor Bridget Mearns called for the construction of a Materials Recovery Facility, implementation of a small-scale pilot project in 2016, and full implementation of bi-weekly blue bin curbside recycling by 2018.

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“The status quo continues.”

Mearns, who moved the resolution, was emotional in her final remarks to council after realizing it would be defeated. She read words of support from dozens of e-mails sent in from community members.

“Eighty per cent of our community says they want it,” Mearns said, fighting back tears. “I’m disappointed for the citizens of Lethbridge.”

Voting against the resolution were councillors Mauro, Iwaskiw, Miyashiro, Hyggen and Coffman. Councillor Coffman cited the need for more planning as one reason for opposition.

“The main thing was… the fact that the resolution calls for the construction of a Materials Recycling Facility but there was no dollar figure attached, no business plan attached,” Coffman said. “There was no understanding of what direction we would be taking with this and I can’t just give our administration carte blanche on something like that.”

Mayor Spearman, councillors Mearns, Parker and Carlson voted in favour of the resolution.

The issue of waste diversion and recycling services in Lethbridge has been before council since 2008.

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