It seems municipalities were caught off guard by this week's announcement by enVision Community Living.

The organization informed the public on Wednesday that they will be shutting down Eastman Recycling Services over the next year. Executive Director Jeannette Delong says in recent years they have seen the recycling industry move into a highly automated model while their business continues to operate with hands-on labour. She notes keeping up with the industry, along with increased operational and capital costs, and managing increased liabilities, is pulling them away from their original purpose.

ling pickup throughout the entire Rural Municipality of Hanover. He notes they will be discussing the matter with local waste collection contractors and neighbouring municipalities.

"It means we will have to go to the drawing board and see if we can find a new provider," adds Toews. "Or hopefully there is somebody that's out there that wants to take over this operation."

Toews says he believes recycling is getting more and more popular in his municipality, noting over the years recycling quantity has steadily been rising. In recent years, Hanover spent money to purchase recycling totes in order for Eastman Recycling to operate a less labour-intensive operation.

"We've been very happy with their service, sad to see them go," notes Toews. "But I can also see their mandate is somewhat different I guess than what we think. I wish them well in their new endeavor."

Meanwhile, Steinbach Mayor Earl Funk says they too have always appreciated the quality of work by Eastman Recycling.

"We've always liked working with enVision, the Eastman Recycling, they've always been easy to work with," he says. "And we're just waiting for administration to keep working on it."

And, in the RM of Ste. Anne, Interim Acting Chief Administrative Officer Nadine Vielfaure says her municipality has not yet had time to make or discuss alternate arrangements.

"Our staff will be working with Eastman Recycling, MultiMaterial Stewardship Manitoba and other stakeholders in the coming weeks and months to transition to a new service provider while maintaining the same quality of service to our residents," she says. "The RM of Ste. Anne firmly believes diverting waste away from landfills and reusing materials through recycling efforts has important economic and environmental benefits to us locally and globally. We will endeavor to find appropriate solutions to ensure sustainable practices are encouraged to reduce our carbon footprint and combat climate change."