The Springbank Recycling Depot may soon be on the move again, after Rocky View County (RVC) council approved motions at their meeting on March 14 for administration to come up with a plan to deal with the management issues at the current site until it could be moved to the newly acquired public lands north of the Springbank Park for All Seasons.
RVC council had been hearing concerns from some area residents that the current site at 100 Commercial Drive in Springbank is not quite big enough to meet their needs. The main problem, according to County staff, is accessibility – particularly when higher than normal traffic volumes are present, or larger trailers are trying to drop off branches and other recyclables.
“The limited space limits us on how many vehicles we can get through this site,” explained RVC’s Lead Solid Waste and Recycling Advisor, Mason Austen. “The current site… we don’t have any opportunity to expand it.”
The current depot also does not have a drive-through capability, he added. All vehicles must enter and exit through the same access.
Division 2 Coun. Don Kochan (the area’s council representative) wondered aloud if the problems with the current site could be solved in the interim by removing the branch bunker, which seems to generate a lot of the trailer traffic during peak season.
“We could look at re-locating the branch bunker outside the site, but we would have to look at options and where we could site that,” stated Austen in reply.
Division 1 Coun. Kevin Hanson suggested the County could potentially work with another nearby business, Bark Mulch Depot, to move the branch bunker off the current site.
Austen confirmed RVC had discussed that option with Bark Mulch Depot, but no agreement had been reached as of yet.
Kochan said removing the branch bunker could be a short-term approach to the accessibility problem at the Springbank Recycling Depot, but he also suggested a longer-term solution.
“Has any consideration been given as far as re-locating this to the newly acquired (public) lands just north of the Springbank Park For All Seasons?” he asked. “There is 74 acres there. Is there any idea that might be an ideal site because the access should be pretty viable? There is certainly lots of land.”
Kochan then put forth two motions: The first was for RVC administration to explore all management solutions to address the problems at the current recycling site in Springbank. This motion passed unanimously.
Referencing the 74 acres of County lands north of the Park For All Seasons but not including it exclusively in the wording of motion, Kochan moved that RVC administration be directed to pursue opportunities for moving the location of the depot.
Division 6 Coun. and Deputy Mayor Sunny Samra said he would support the motion if it was amended to include that this pursuit of opportunities be “limited to County-owned lands.”
This amendment passed unanimously.
However, when it came to the final vote, Coun. Hanson said he could not support it because he felt the 74 acres of County lands being targeted by the motion was intended as a new public park and the future location of the community centre.
“I am not sure there is good compatible use,” he said. “Sure, it is convenient, but it would be a bit of an eyesore for what should be the cultural and community centre of Springbank. And where (the depot) is right now, in the middle of a commercial area, is perfect.”
In the end, most on council sided with Kochan, and approved his motion to pursue options to move the current depot location to public lands by a vote of 6-1, with only Hanson opposed.