December 6, 2018 5:48 pm
Updated: December 6, 2018 5:49 pm

St. Thomas University group pushing for curbside recycling pickup at apartments

Thu, Dec 6: People who live in apartment buildings in Fredericton say it's time the city provided curbside recycling pickup. The city promised a pilot program a year ago – but so far there are no immediate plans to launch the program. Megan Yamoah has that story.

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A group of students from St. Thomas University [STU] are asking the municipal government to take a serious look at adding recycling pickup for multi-unit apartment buildings, as well as glass and compost recycling services.

Residents of multi-unit apartment buildings are unable to put their recyclables at the curb in Fredericton. Apartment dwellers have to gather up their recyclables and bring them to a local recycling depot.

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“It’s a real hassle because we don’t really have time for that,” said Jessica Allison, who lives in a Fredericton apartment complex. “I’m a student and not to mention that it costs us gas money, but we think it’s so important that we want to do it but we just don’t want to have it be as inconvenient as it is right now.”

READ MORE: Plastic bag ban on the horizon for residents of Moncton

The STU students are asking the city to follow through on a commitment it made last year to implement a pilot program for curbside recycling pickup at multi-unit apartment buildings.

So far, that pilot project hasn’t started.

“Right now Fredericton actually stands, as well as New Brunswick, as one of the biggest contributors to waste in the world which really goes to show that recycling is a major issue within our community,” said STU student Kayla Doody.

WATCH: Nova Scotia company turns plastic bags into patio furniture

Faculty at the university would like to see the city follow through on its commitment, as well.

“They have made multiple public promises that this would happen and it just hasn’t to this date,” says STU professor Dr. Christina Szurlej.

And Ward 10 councillor John MacDermid agrees.

“The current structure of the recycling program, I don’t think that it’s a good enough structure. I think its inadequate. I don’t think that it meets the needs of residents,” says MacDermid.

There will be a price tag involved with extending recycling collection to apartments, and MacDermid says that’s not in the city’s budget

“There is nothing that has been earmarked for that in the budget for 2019 and considering the financial climate it’s very unlikely that there will be anything budgeted for it.”

Szurlej said the issue is critical because of the number of people who rely on taking their recyclables to public bins or depots.

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