An Irricana resident may have to shut down her newly bought recycling business, Rural Recycling Collections, because Rocky View County’s (RCV) Irricana Transfer Site recently said they no longer accept commercial recycling.
Melodie Tulsie, owner of Rural Recycling Collection said she acquired the business in November and “out of the blue,” she can no longer function as a company.
“The funny thing is I bought (the company) in November and the lady before me had done it since 2011 and she bought it from another lady doing it for a few years,” Tulsie said.
“It’s not like this is a brand new business — they’ve been taking it for years.”
Tulsie’s business collects recycling of from local businesses, sorts them and delivers them to the transfer site for a $5 fee to the business owner.
On Dec. 10, Tulsie said she collected her regular recycling from Phil’s Auto like she does every week, but this time, the attendants at the transfer site refused her because she was considered a commercial recycler.
“I’m upset about it because I have nowhere to take my recycling,” Tulsie said. “It’s not like I make a lot of money, but it helps pay my bills.”
Tulsie said the employees at the transfer site said they only learned that day of the commercial recycling restriction.
Phil Arnold from Phil’s Auto said he was upset to learn that as a business, he can’t recycle his cardboard at the site, but added he’s more concerned with Tulsie because he likes to support local businesses.
“I’m more upset for (Tulsie) because this is her entire business,” Arnold said. “She came back (on Dec. 10) almost in tears.”
Tulsie said there is a need for her services in the town because the transfer site is only open two days a week, Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., which are inconvenient for business owners.
After she learned her business might go under, Tulsie said she contacted Joanne Walroth, solid waste and recycling officer with Rocky View County, for answers.
“She said I’d have to get a commercial recycler involved to keep it going,” Tulsie said.
Walroth said the fact the transfer site doesn’t accept commercial recycling shouldn’t have been a surprise for anyone as it’s always been this way at all RVC transfer sites.
“It’s a residential program and we make no money from businesses,” Walroth said.
They said what probably happened is the previous owner of Rural Recycling Collections never told the employees at the transfer site it was a profiting business, but when the business changed owners to Tulsie, the word got to the employees and they refused on that basis.
“Slowly people are starting to realize we don’t accept commercial waste or recycling,” she added.
When asked if they refused Tulsie’s recycling, an employee at the Irricana Transfer site refused to comment.
“If we take her recycling, Rocky View is effectively subsidizing her business,” Walroth said.
Tulsie said that in order for her to be able to continue her business she would have to purchase commercial bins for her company, which she said is out of her budget.
“I’ve been doing a lot of research on the internet and the bins I’ve seen are costing $200 to $300,” Tulsie said.
Tulsie said she wants RVC to reconsider this rule, which to her “came out of thin air,” and consider charging a reasonable fee instead of “making up rules” about bins and licenses.