Limited demand for product and additional expenses contribute to closure
As of Feb. 14 the Paper and Cardboard Recycling Depot operated by the Calypso Foundation will close its doors permanently.
© Karen Wells photo
Amos Mercer sorts through and prepares cardboard for recycling at the Calypso Paper and Cardboard Recycling Depot. The facility will close as of Feb. 15. There will be no changes to the beverage recycling operation at Calypso.
By KAREN WELLS
LEWISPORTE — As of Feb. 14 the Paper and Cardboard Recycling Depot operated by the Calypso Foundation will close its doors permanently.
Calypso manager Colleen Barrett said there are a few factors contributing to the decision made by the Foundation Board last week to close the facility that first opened it’s doors in September of 2005.
One was a 53 per cent increase in the amount of product they were processing. While an increase might sound like a good thing, the fact that it’s been a year since they have received any payment for the product they produce is not.
“World markets for used paper and cardboard have dropped,” said Ms. Barrett.
While a monthly subsidy from the Town of Lewisporte to help with operating costs and availing of grants to help cover some of the wages of a Calypso client to work there part time, it still isn’t enough to keep the facility going. Add to that wages for one full-time and one part-time employee, equipment costs and no income coming in, and it doesn’t take long to see why they have to close their doors.
“Initially the cardboard facility was established to provide employment for at least one of our clients,” said Ms. Barrett. “It was never a huge money-maker, but as long as we were breaking even it was fine.
“As a non-profit we can’t be operating anything that costs us money.”
The partnership with the Town of Lewisporte was initiated because the Town needed to reduce the amount of fibre product going into their municipal landfill. It became mandatory for businesses to recycle their paper and cardboard products. That is when there was a large increase noted in the product going to the Calypso depot, which increased the staffing requirements.
While the Town subsidy doesn’t go towards wages, Ms. Barrett said even if the Town were to have increased their subsidy it still would not have made the facility feasible to stay open.