The Comox Strathcona Waste Management board says it’s looking at closing four recycling depots in the area.
The depots are located near the Campbell River Sportsplex, the Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex, the Canex Store, and the Courtenay Country Market.
CSWM says the two remaining depots on Quadra Island and near Oyster River will remain open as they are rural and provide the only local option for recycling in those areas.
Senior Manager of Comox Strathcona Waste Management Services, Andrew McGifford says the depots have too much contamination and the cost to keep them running is too high.
“There was no staff at these sites so there is no oversight of the material that is coming through. We’ve seen contamination of materials at these sites throughout the years but with the changes and the requirements for clean recyclables the product wasn’t getting recycled and a lot of the material was going to the landfill,” says McGifford.
“Without significant investment in the depots and staffing, which would cost a significant amount more, we would continue to see the increased cost for a very small percentage of the waste that were diverting in the community.”
He added that there are better options available for residents to use.
“There are other options in the Comox Valley at our return it depots and our waste management centers that have staff present to sort and assist the public. It’s really important that we provide a clean product that can be marketed.”
The high level of contamination not only means that a large portion of recyclable end up in the landfill, but also creates a safety issue for people who use the site and the staff that have to manage the contaminated waste. The CSWM says more frequent pickups at these facilities will not solve the problem of high levels of contamination.
Staff will be bringing a report forward to the CSWM Board later this month with additional information.
The report will address alternative recycling options, plans to inform and support residents through the transition away from unstaffed depots, and the possible impact on the other depots in the area that will handle increased volumes.
For more information on the closure of these recycle depots, or to see other options to get rid of your recycling waste, visit the Comox Strathcona Waste Management’s website.