Doug Hiltz, a director with the Wisteria Community Association, sorts recyclables Wednesday afternoon in the backyard at 155 Victoria Rd. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

Doug Hiltz, a director with the Wisteria Community Association, sorts recyclables Wednesday afternoon in the backyard at 155 Victoria Rd. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)

Nanaimo’s Stone Soup association ordered to stop its backyard recycling

Wisteria association uses money raised to support its charity that feeds people on Wesley Street

The people who run the Stone Soup charity to feed those who are hungry downtown are being told their fundraising recycling efforts have outgrown their backyard.

The City of Nanaimo has issued notice to residents of 155 Victoria Rd. that the property may not be used as a refund container recycling depot.

“Give us a break here,” said Tanya Hiltz, president of the Wisteria Community Association. “Nobody’s breaking laws sorting bottles and hauling them to a bottle depot. How many other people are doing that every day?”

She said the Wisteria association puts the money raised from the recycling into Stone Soup, a registered charity that sees association members handing out food and drinks every night on Wesley Street to people experiencing homelessness or anyone who is hungry. People who wish to support the charity drop off recyclables at the Victoria Road property and association members also pick up recyclables from elsewhere to bring to the property for sorting.

“They’re accepting mass donations dropped off, bottles, clothing, etc., so the whole backyard at times is filled with this stuff and they’re sorting it and making noise and there’s smell, etc., and it’s generating complaints from the neighbourhood,” said Dave LaBerge, the city’s manager of community safety.

He said there have been complaints that the property is unsightly and noisy and is attracting vermin; Hiltz said the association stops sorting at 5 p.m. every evening and said there are no vermin.

She said other non-profit groups and service clubs hold bottle drives, but LaBerge said those are generally one-off events.

“If any other non-profit was doing this and we got complaints, we would respond in the same way,” he said, adding that in these sort of instances, groups might need to be “a little more creative on finding a site where you can receive [recyclables] and sort them that isn’t disrupting other people in the area.”

Hiltz said the association’s goal is to be able to operate Stone Soup in a facility close to downtown with a food-preparation area.

Wisteria Community Association members and volunteers have been continuing to sort recycling at the property, more than a month after receiving the letter from the city. LaBerge said the letter explains the bylaw violation and asks for compliance and if it is ignored, the city would look at its options including, potentially, “injunctive action.”

READ ALSO: Advocates for now-closed Nanaimo soup kitchen ask for city’s help

READ ALSO: Nanaimo meal program will keep serving up soup after setback

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A rendering of the Lumina building proposed for 41-45 Haliburton St. in Nanaimo. (Matthew T. Hansen Architect image)
Next project proposed as part of a series of buildings on Nanaimo’s Haliburton Street

Five-storey building near Finlayson Street will include 38 residential units

Capt. Bryun Ashlie, left, and Lieut. Stu Kenning, of Nanaimo Fire Rescue, tackle fires burning in two shopping carts in St. George Ravine Park, Thursday afternoon. The cause of the fire, which destroyed both carts and their contents, is undetermined. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
Shopping carts found burning in Nanaimo park

Firefighters douse flaming carts and contents on asphalt pathway

Nanaimo RCMP are looking for a motorcyclist who refused to stop for police near the Nanaimo River Road and White Rapids Road intersection on April 10. (Photo submitted)
Nanaimo RCMP seek ‘stunting’ motorcyclist, who fled from police

Rider spotted near intersection of Nanaimo River Road and White Rapids Road April 10

Nanaimo RCMP say a man was injured while pouring gunpowder on a backyard fire in Harewood on Wednesday, April 21. (File photo)
Nanaimo man hospitalized after pouring gunpowder onto backyard fire

RCMP investigating explosion in Harewood also came across a still for making alcohol on the property

A B.C. Centre for Disease Control map shows new COVID-19 cases by local health area for the week of April 11-17. (BCCDC image)
Nanaimo sees fewest new COVID-19 cases since mid January

B.C. Centre for Disease Control reports 31 new COVID-19 cases in Greater Nanaimo from April 11-17

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and United States President Joe Biden smile as they say farewell following a virtual joint statement in Ottawa, Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Trudeau pledges to cut emissions by 40% to 45% by 2030, short of U.S. goal

Trudeau announced target during a virtual climate summit convened by U.S. President Joe Biden

Richard Desautel with supporters outside the courthouse in Nelson, B.C., in 2016. Photo: Bill Metcalfe
BREAKING: Sinixt win historic decision at Supreme Court of Canada

The decision essentially reverses a 1956 declaration the Sinixt were extinct

MLA Shirley Bond, right, answers questions during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on February 19, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Former B.C. gaming minister says she wasn’t told directly about dirty cash flowing to casinos

Shirley Bond said Thursday civil forfeiture, gang violence and gambling addiction were also major concerns in 2011

RCMP Constable Etsell speaks to tourists leaving the area at a police roadblock on Westside Road south of Fintry, B.C., Thursday, July 23, 2009. THE CANADIAN PRESS/ Yvonne Berg
B.C. police say they take ‘exception’ to conducting roadblocks limiting travel

Asking the police to enforce roadblocks exposes officers to further risk and possible COVID-19 infections, says federation president Brian Sauve

As part of the province’s strategy to combat the opioid overdose crisis, take-home naloxone kits have been distributed throughout the province. (Courtesy of Gaëlle Nicolussi)
Vancouver Island could be at its worst point of overdose crises yet: medical health officer

Island Health issued overdose advisories for Victoria, various communities in the last two weeks

The conservation service confirmed they do not relocate cougars from settled areas but that euthanasia is not necessarily the fate for an animal in the Fanny Bay area. The hope is that the animal will move on to wild areas. (File photo)
Woman hopes cat-stalking Fanny Bay cougar can avoid euthanization

Conservation officers do not relocate the animals from Vancouver Island

Tofino residents expressed frustration over a recent post by Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett that falsely claimed all residents have been vaccinated. (Westerly file photo)
Resort owner apologizes for suggesting Tofino is safe to travel to

Long Beach Lodge owner Tim Hackett apologizes to community and visitors

BC Hydro released a survey Thursday, April 22. It found that many British Columbians are unintentionally contributing to climate change with their yard maintenance choices. (Pixabay)
Spend a lot of time doing yard work? It might be contributing to climate change

Recent BC Hydro survey finds 60% of homeowners still use gas-powered lawnmowers and yard equipment

Journal de Montreal is seen in Montreal, on Thursday, April 22, 2021. The daily newspaper uses a file picture of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau dressed in traditional Indian clothing during his trip to India to illustrate a story on the Indian variant of the coronavirus. Paul Chiasson/The Canadian Press
Montreal newspaper blasted for front-page photo of Trudeau in India

Trudeau is wearing traditional Indian clothes and holding his hands together in prayer beside a caption that reads, ‘The Indian variant has arrived’

Most Read