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

Motor home burns up at north Nanaimo intersection

No one hurt in incident Friday morning at old Island Highway, Rutherford Road and Mostar Road

70-year-old punched in the head in dispute over disability parking space in Nanaimo

Senior’s turban knocked off in incident at parking lot at Lowe’s last month

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: It’s Island’s turn for investment in light rail

Convert rail right-of-way to a double-tracked light rail system, says letter writer

RDN signs deal with Nanaimo Recycling Exchange to conduct waste audits

RDN working on mandatory waste-separation bylaw for industrial, commercial, institutional sectors

Nanaimo RCMP community policing needs a few good volunteers

Volunteers needed to help Nanaimo RCMP and city deliver crime prevention and safety programs

VIDEO: B.C. to launch mouth-rinse COVID-19 test for kids

Test involves swishing and gargling saline in mouth and no deep-nasal swab

Beefs & Bouquets, Sept. 16

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail

Record-breaking 165 new COVID-19 cases diagnosed in B.C. in 24-hour period

Fifty-seven people are in hospital battling the novel coronavirus

B.C. teachers file Labour Relations Board application over COVID-19 classroom concerns

The application comes as B.C.’s second week of the new school year comes to a close

Young Canadians have curtailed vaping during pandemic, survey finds

The survey funded by Heart & Stroke also found the decrease in vaping frequency is most notable in British Columbia and Ontario

Long-term care need pressuring acute care in Comox Valley, Strathcona

Region could use a couple of large facilities for seniors on the north part of the Island

B.C.’s COVID-19 economic recovery plan: Top 5 things you need to know

Jobs training, tax incentives for employers to hire staff and more

B.C. releases details of $1.5B economic recovery plan, $660M in business tax incentives

Economic plan includes support for employers, as well as training for workers

Most Read