Steinbach City Council has awarded its next recycling collection contract which will include a switch to larger recycling totes for an automated collection system. 

On Tuesday, Councillor Michael Zwaagstra moved to award the recycling collection contract. 

“We were all surprised when we received the notification earlier this year about Eastman Recycling ending their service in regards to recycling. They provided very good service for a long period of time but obviously, we needed to look for other options. The city did put out a request for proposals and we received two. The reason we are awarding to Bristal is that their proposal, overall, is the one that best fits our needs and is also very close in price to what we were paying before.” 

This new recycling collection contract will cost the city $566,666 a year compared to the Eastman Recycling Services contract which came in around $500K a year. 

Mayor Earl Funk says he was happy to see Bristal Hauling come in with the lowest bid. 

“It is nice to see a local southeast business able to take care of recycling in our community. I believe if I am correct, the RM of Hanover is engaging with Bristal as well so I think we will be seeing a lot of their trucks in our area and I think it is good. It means jobs locally and it means that we will continue recycling and we will continue keeping these products out of our landfill.” 

According to administration, Bristal Hauling will bring Steinbach’s recycling to an end processor in Winnipeg. The contract between the city and Bristal Hauling will come into effect this December and run through 2025. 

Councillor Bill Hiebert was impressed, noting “This is a three-year contract and there are no increases from one year to the next. It's slightly more than we are paying at this point but at three-year consistent pricing, I think this is a good plan.” 

Council voted to approve the contract unanimously. 

However, that wasn’t all. City Manager Troy Warkentin noted, as part of this contract, Steinbach will also switch to larger recycling totes. 

“There were options that were reviewed, one of them was that the service provider provides the containers. The other option was for the City of Steinbach to initiate and provide recycling carts for the service." 

Following administration's recommendation, Council voted to purchase 6,500 recycling carts for the residents of Steinbach from a company called Toter which came in with the lowest bid. The totes will cost a total of $515,000 and the funds to purchase them will come out of the city's environment reserve. 

A man pulls a recycling cart of out city hallSteinbach's Head of Solid Waste Eldon Wallman brought a recycling tote to the council meeting for context.

Councillor Jac Siemens moved to approve this purchase. 

“I have been a proponent of moving toward this type of recycling bin, and a garbage bin someday as well I hope. I think this reduces the manpower requirement and reduces the risk of injury, in this case for the contractor. I think this is a good move.” 

Zwaagstra then spoke, noting “some people might remember that a few years ago, I had expressed opposition to the concept of automated bins. I think that considering how widely they are being used and accepted, I think I spoke in haste,” adding “it seems like a reasonable use of funds.” 

Each bin will be numbered and those numbers will be connected to a residential address so they can be brought back if they are lost.

At this point in time, Mayor Earl Funk says the city’s recycling contract will only cover residential pickup and not businesses.  

“At this point, City Council was going to make sure that we are going to take care of residential at this time. That can always be a continued conversation that we have but we saw the need, we saw the biggest fire to put out was the residential collection.”