Grant targets Gabriola recycle depot upgrades

NANAIMO – Gabriola Island Recycling Organization is one step closer to seeing money for facility upgrades.

The Gabriola Island Recycling Organization is one step closer to seeing funding for facility upgrades.

At the Regional District of Nanaimo’s board meeting last month, directors voted to make a recommendation to the Union of B.C. Municipalities to release $75,000 in gas tax transfer funding to the non-profit recycling organization under the regionally significant project funding program.

Approval is still needed from the Union of B.C. Municipalities’ executive before the money is released but it would help the organization expand its services and improve its drop-off facilities for resellable items, as donations are currently exposed to the elements.

“We need to buy some infrastructure, storage tanks, storage bins etc. and fundamentally, we have a problem in our re-store area, where donations that are received are stored in basically farm tents, temporary shelters, and they’re subjected to the environment,” said Richard Nolan, president of the Gabriola Island Recycling Organization. “From our perspective, it’s kind of a shame that when someone donates something, that it’s possible that it will be damaged.”

The money would only cover part of the upgrades, with the recycling organization paying for the rest. Nolan said the organization will soldier on if approval is not given.

“It’s certainly not going to stop our project – we’re just going to have to do more fundraising ourselves,” Nolan said.

“Everything that’s recycled at our centre means less vehicle traffic travelling across the [Nanaimo harbour] over to the RDN depot.”

Gabriola Island regional district director Howard Houle said the plan has been in the works for more than a year and is pleased to see the organization closer to getting the money, which he says it rarely asks for.

“It’s been going since 1991 and other than several years back, they received $15,000 from the RDN for a truck, other than that, they’ve received no money since 1992 from any level of government,” Houle said. “They’ve done very well just on their common business practices.”

Houle said a decision about the money is expected to be reached at the next meeting of the Union of B.C. Municipalities’ executive.