Quadra Island could be home to a new Recycle BC depot, which would increase the types of materials accepted and help keep the island clean, if that’s what people want.
Quadra’s Strathcona Regional District director Jim Abram has advocated for the project with Comox Strathcona Waste Management, which recently agreed to bring the idea to public consultation over the next few months. While the road to this point has had many twists and turns, Abram hopes these final steps come together quickly.
“Hopefully we’ll get this all sorted out as quickly as possible and have a really really together recycling depot,” he said.
Recycling on Quadra started with a truck that would make weekly trips to Campbell River to drop off peoples recyclables. Over the years, that morphed into Abram himself taking a van full to Courtenay when he travelled there for work.
“I finally got approval to put some bins on Quadra, which we did on donated space,” he said.
However, the demand soon outpaced the size of that depot, and things were upgraded to their current form, with a 24 hour drop off facility and a part-time contractor to watch the site.
“Recycling in B.C. has grown to the point now where more materials are being recycled that weren’t before, but they’re only being recycled from Recycle BC Depots,” Abram said. “The only ones that are available (to us) are in Campbell River or Courtenay. At that point, I started looking at it with the solid waste people, looking at the pros and cons.”
A new facility would have to follow rules set out by Recycle BC, including fencing requirements, opening hours and a full-time employee, but it would also allow more materials to be recycled and divert them from the landfill.
Abram wants to ensure no decision is made without approval from the people of Quadra, and that public engagement should be done in an in-person way, which “with the way COVID is going now may happen sooner or later, in the fall some time,” he said.
“If the community decides that they want to change it, we’ll change it,” he added. “If the community decides they don’t want to change it then we’ll stay with what we have.”
Three engagement sessions are scheduled for July, one will be a beach pick up event, one education day with CSWM staff on site to speak to people and what’s called an “Extended Producer” clean up day, which will include things like batteries, paint cans and other more hazardous materials.
Check back with the Mirror for updates on the facility as they come.