The continued absence of a glass recycling depot in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area was raised by Town of Qualicum Beach director and mayor Brian Wiese at a recent Regional District of Nanaimo solid waste management select committee meeting.
Wiese wanted to find out how the town can help put more pressure on the provincial government and Recycle BC to quickly re-establish a bottle and recycling depot, which the region lost and was never replaced when it closed in March 2020.
“Is there any plan moving forward to look at glass recycling other than Nanaimo?” Wiese asked. “Of course, we have the oldest population on the Island and most of Canada for that matter and it’s becoming an issue in town.”
Residents have had no choice but to drive to the nearest depots in Nanaimo or Courtenay to bring their recyclables.
Popup recycling depots were organized by Recycle BC to help alleviate the problem but the RDN, City of Parksville and Qualicum Beach want to have a permanent solution and full-time service.
Manager, solid waste services, Ben Routledge said they have been in contact with Recycle BC just over a month ago on the lack of service in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area and the desire for a new depot to be established soon.
“We are advocating for better service and we know that Recycle BC will have a consultation on their plan in October,” said Routledge.
Wiese said was not impressed they have to wait.
Routledge said they had reviewed the possibility of absorbing the glass recyclables at the RDN’s transfer station facility on Church Road but was not able to do it due to Recycle BC’s policy.
“Unfortunately, because of Recycle BC’s format, where they require services to be done for free, we can’t do so economically,” said Routledge.
A study was also conducted by the RDN to establish a depot service on Church Road but Routledge said it was not feasible as it would cost the regional district more.
“Recycle BC do offer a remittance for materials collected,” Routledge explained. “But the remittance would be well below the cost the RDN would incur to provide that service, which makes it prohibitive.”
As a way to continue pressuring Recycle BC, Routedge asked the RDN board write letters to the Ministry of Environment and Recycle BC, to remind them that the Parksville Qualicum Beach area is still experiencing decreased recycling services, and to ask them to step up their efforts.
“Everything helps in trying to drive that increase service in the Oceanside area,” said Routledge.
The select committee approved the recommendation directing staff to write a letter and it was endorsed by the RDN board on May 24.
— NEWS Staff