The Huntsville Firefighter’s Association (HFA) annual metal recycling fundraiser is underway.

“What people can do is drop off any metal they have kicking around their place,” explains firefighter Shawn Dickey. The place to go is the Huntsville Fire Hall at 1 Payne Drive. You will be able to drop off unused metal until so long as no snow is on the ground. He asks that you only put things like old BBQs or other kinds of unused scrap metal, not garbage. 

Here’s how it works: HFA officials collect the metal, ACES Waste Management – who also donated the bin – take it to a recycling plant, and the money made goes to the association. Dickey says last year they raised just under $1,000. 

You can also donate cash or a cheque if you don’t have metal to drop off.

“Any projects in the community that we deem worthy, we will donate to,” Dickey says. “We also save up money to buy equipment that otherwise isn’t purchased through the fire department. We also do a scholarship with member’s children.”

The “extra equipment” HFA helps the Huntsville/Lake of Bays Fire Department (HLOB) buy are things that aren’t included in Huntsville’s yearly budget. Dickey says their most recent purchase was a thermal imaging camera.

HLOB Fire Chief Rob Collins points out that HFA is a separate entity from the fire department, but the contributions they make are “quite important.” He explains that the municipal budget covers the basics like a new fire truck, but might not help when they need “something a little extra” like the thermal imaging camera, a rope bag, or other rescue equipment. What happened with the camera and on a few other occasions is HFA helped cover the remaining cost of a piece of equipment after HLOB secured grant money.

Collins says there aren’t any items on their wishlist right now. “We’re early in the budget year so all the purchases we had planned to make are accounted for, but as we go through the year we’ll undoubtedly find something that is a little bit extra,” he adds.

Dickey hopes that HFA is able to hold other fundraisers during the summer, but it will all depend on what restrictions the provincial government puts in place.