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Councillors fight Strathcona Gardens recycling bin relocation

Recycling bins at Strathcona Gardens are becoming an eyesore, as witnessed by these beer bottles left behind on the ground. - Kristen Douglas
Recycling bins at Strathcona Gardens are becoming an eyesore, as witnessed by these beer bottles left behind on the ground.
— image credit: Kristen Douglas

Outnumbering Strathcona Regional District directors, Campbell River city councillors managed to vote down removing recycling bins from Strathcona Gardens.

The regional district wants the bins relocated because of a lack of staff at Strathcona Gardens to maintain the area.

“Our recreation staff are spending time cleaning up the site and handling complaints that the recycling bin area is unsightly,” said Brian Reardon, chief administrative officer for the Strathcona Regional District, in a letter to Comox Strathcona Solid Waste staff. “We are aware that there are people loitering around the bins making some people nervous and/or apprehensive about dropping off their recycling. These factors, combined with (an) account of an incident at the Strathcona Gardens Recycling Bins that required a response from the RCMP have led us to conclude that the liabilities outweigh the benefits of keeping the recycling bins at this location.”

Reardon goes on to say regional district staff would like to see the bins moved to a new location.

“Our request is that this change be implemented prior to year end,” Reardon said. “I would also encourage you to provide four to six weeks notice to the public informing them of the site these bins have been relocated to or, alternatively, where the nearest recycling centres are so residents can plan accordingly.”

But Campbell River councillors chose to go in a different direction at a  Strathcona Gardens Commission meeting last month, which included councillors Andy Adams, Ron Kerr, and Larry Samson. The lone commissioner not on city council was Brenda Leigh.

Leigh made a motion to have the Strathcona Gardens bins relocated to the Sportsplex but it was defeated by Adams, Kerr and Samson.

Adams followed up with a motion of his own, to have Reardon send a letter to the Comox Strathcona Solid Waste service “advising that the recycling bins located at the Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex are a central location for the citizens of the Campbell River area and that the Comox Strathcona Solid Waste Service be requested to maintain the bins and area.”

That motion was approved.

Council had already directed city staff send a letter to the Comox Strathcona Solid Waste Committee this summer asking that two recycling drop-off locations be maintained in Campbell River.

The issue was brought up at a council meeting in June after council learned the Strathcona Gardens bins were scheduled to get the axe by the end of the year.

Adams was adamant the city needs two drop-off locations while Mayor Walter Jakeway said he wanted to see the bins stay where they are.

“To me the most important thing is that people use them,” Jakeway said.

“Strathcona Gardens is the perfect site because people use them.”

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