The Regional District of Nanaimo board is worried residents in Parksville Qualicum Beach will add their recycling to garbage collected at the street level. (PQB News file photo)

RDN seeks temporary solution to provide recycling facilities in Parksville Qualicum Beach

Directors agree travelling 45 minutes to nearest depot is unacceptable

  • Mar. 26, 2021 12:00 a.m.

The Regional District of Nanaimo board wants staff members to look at options for a temporary recycling depot service in the Parksville Qualicum Beach area.

The board, at its regular meeting on March 23, unanimously voted in favour of Nanaimo director Ben Geselbracht’s motion calling for staff to prepare a report for the solid waste select committee for discussion.

Based on recent letters received from Recycling B.C. and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change that updated the board on the current status for recycling depots in Parksville Qualicum Beach, there’s still no definite solution coming anytime soon.

It’s been a year since the Parksville and Qualicum Beach recycling depots stopped taking glass, soft plastics and Styrofoam for recycling, leaving residents to travel 30 to 45 minutes to the nearest depots in Nanaimo and Courtenay.

RELATED: Recycle B.C. looks for business to step up to fill the gap left by depots in Parksville and Qualicum Beach

Recycle B.C. has assured the RDN they are working diligently to find a solution to the problem but have been unsuccessful with entering into an agreement with any service providers.

“I think it’s important that the select committee just have a discussion on what the potential options are for temporary solutions because the public is demanding for a more adequate level of service and rightly so given what our targets are and what people have gotten used to,” said Geselbracht.

Parksville director Ed Mayne supported the motion, noting he is aware of the challenge Parksville Qualicum Beach residents are facing to get rid of their recyclables.

“What I’m finding it hard to understand from this environmental group, because that’s what BC Recycle is, that it’s perfectly OK to drive for half an hour,” Mayne said. “To me it just doesn’t make any sense. We need to have a solution.”

With the RDN working to achieve the 90 per cent diversion target in its solid waste management plan, Mayne is concerned more people will add recycling to the garbage collected at the street level.

Electoral Area E (Nanoose Bay) director Bob Rogers is concerned the temporary solutions may end up to be a permanent one. He wants to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Board chair Tyler Brown agreed a solution must be found.

“The idea is absurd to expect people to drive from Parksville or Qualicum to outlets outside the municipalities to Nanaimo to recycle,” said Brown.

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