GUF Recycling Coordinator Jana Gainor surveys the wreckage left of the recycling centre after a suspected arson fire destroyed the facility.

GUF works towards rebuild

GUF continues to work on plans to rebuild their recycling centre, intending to be back up and running by the end of this year.

The Greening Up Fort St. James Society (GUF) continues to work on plans to rebuild their recycling centre, intending to be back up and running by the end of this year.

While there are still some factors to work out, the society is currently looking at revised quotes from contractors to integrate some modifications to the previous structure to help make it more fire-resistant.

The society believes they will be able to afford to rebuild with some fireproofing upgrades to the structure, however final numbers are still being figured out.

With contractor details to work out and final costs, the society is also working on the logistics of getting their operations back up and running.

The insurance will also allow GUF to be collecting fibre as soon as construction begins, with bins on site and fibre being shipped back and forth to P.G., similar to what the society was dong before the Integris recycling centre was built.

The group hopes to work with contractors and is looking at businesses hauling goods to Fort St. James for proposals to then backhaul GUF’s fibre once their facility is in operation again.

The group is also hoping to strengthen their relationship with Mount Milligan Mine as it moves towards operation, because the mine will be producing a lot of fibre.

Jana Gainor, recycling coordinator for GUF, said the mine has worked hard at separating their waste and GUF wants to help support their efforts.

The new recycling centre was burned down on May long weekend of this year in a dramatic late-night fire which local firefighters fought into the early morning.

The society said it was grateful the fire was kept from damaging neighbouring buildings by the firefighters and no one was hurt in the incident, with the RCMP also at the scene working on confirming there was nobody inside.

“(Firefighters) do this dangerous work as volunteers and we are so fortunate to have such  dedicated people in our midst,” said Louise Evans-Salt, GUF board member.

Since then, the society members have been working hard towards a rebuild of the facility, and soliciting memberships and other funding to help with the financial loss.

However negotiations with insurance adjustors and getting quotes as well as deciding on possible modifications to help prevent a recurrence of the tragic fire have taken a significant amount of time.

Even cleaning up the site after the fire was a big job, which BAM BAM trucking helped out with by volunteering both machine and employee time for, however more work was also done by the municipality and others to get the site completely cleared of debris and the metal remains of the machinery burned up in the fire.

While video evidence from a neighbouring business of the suspected arson was obtained by RCMP, no charges were ever laid in the case.

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