The Town of Qualicum Beach is looking to relocate the carboard bin currently located on Second Avenue East. (Michael Briones photo)

The Town of Qualicum Beach is looking to relocate the carboard bin currently located on Second Avenue East. (Michael Briones photo)

Qualicum Beach looking at relocation of controversial cardboard bin to town’s airport

Current location on Second Avenue East is no longer viable

The Town of Qualicum Beach council wants staff to look at a viable location for the community cardboard bin.

Council is not ready to endorse a staff recommendation that the town no longer provide the $50,000 service after this year, since only a small portion of the community benefits.

Only Mayor Brian Wiese voiced input against the cardboard bin.

“I think it’s time almost to get rid of it,” said Wiese. “All of us have blue bins at home. All of us do. The only ones currently using it are probably small businesses close to the bin who should be paying for it. But frankly, I know a lot of people from out of town come in and use that cardboard bin so they don’t go to Church Road. So I think the town is subsidizing $50,000 plus for a very few members of the public.”

Coun. Robert Filmer said it would be a mistake to permanently remove the bin. He referred to decisions made by council in the past, noting they had to deal with the repercussions.

The current location of the bin on Second Avenue East is no longer viable as the private property is going to be developed. Staff suggested relocating it to south east corner of the temporary parking lot across the street from the town hall on Mill Street. Filmer made a motion to make it a permanent site and not end the service. But Wiese said it’s not a good location.

“That’s a horrible place for a bin, people,” said Wiese. “That’s right in downtown. We have a big old garbage bin. You guys see what it looks like. It’s horrible.”

READ MORE: Qualicum Beach staff members want to save $50K by closing cardboard disposal bin

Filmer agreed it would be an eyesore. He chose the location as staff wasn’t able to give them any other options. He said it’s the one favoured by staff.

CAO Daniel Sailland said they’ve looked at a number of locations but none are suitable.

“The challenge that we have whenever we look at these is that they draw further and further away from the downtown area,” said Sailland. “And so we talked about identifying a space in and around the civic centre as there’s a of parking space in there. One of the challenges there again is the just the distance and then the possible supervision of the site or just the safety of the site. Being close to a forested area the concerns around vandalism if somebody were to decide to ignite a cardboard bin right next to one of our key parks and forested parks. There’s concerns. “

They also considered a location near The Old School House Arts Centre, but Sailland said they will find it hard to mask it and make it functional in a beautified way.

“We’re really challenged as to what location that would service the downtown area can really lend itself to that same use,” said Sailland, who added the eyesore element is a factor when they choose a location.

Filmer suggested at looking at establishing it at the Qualicum Beach Airport.

“If our worry is not having staff supervision, I believe the airport there’s at least probably one staff member out there once a day, doing something at the airport or checking out something,” said Filmer. “So maybe we can look at the option.”

Coun. Scott Harrison agreed with Filmer’s suggestion and also called for not cancelling the service next year. He suggested keeping the service for another three years as the Regional District of Nanaimo by then will have implemented its mandatory waste source separation that will require properties including businesses, multi-family dwellings and institutions to have bins for garbage, food waste and recycling.

“Citizens will be familiar with it and what it has to offer,” said Harrison. “And then I think that might be a decision for the next council to look at like maybe in three years time. I think something like maybe the airport for three years we try that as an option.”

Coun. Teunis Westbroek suggested the bin issue be deferred back to staff to review the Qualicum Beach Airport as an alternative location.

Council agreed.

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