Jobs and investment in Nanaimo are being touted from a proposed provincial paper and packaging recycling project.
Multi-Material B.C., a non-profit organization that will manage residential packaging and printed paper recycling, announced Thursday it selected Green by Nature EPR to manage a provincewide collection and recycling program, which will start servicing about 1.25 million B.C. homes by May 19.
The $32-million project is the result of a producer-pay system mandated by the provincial government and include construction of a material recovery facility in Nanaimo to sort and prepare collected material for shipment to processors and markets.
Another major component of the project will be a container recycling and sorting facility on the Lower Mainland which will separate paper products from plastic containers and packaging.
About 570 people will be employed through the new recycling system.
Green by Nature is a partnership founded by waste recovery and recycling companies Cascade Recovery, Emterra Environmental and Merlin Plastics. The consortium will also involve more than 20 recycling subcontractors for its operations across B.C.
Green by Nature and Multi-Material B.C. have not released details about the facility planned for Nanaimo regarding the location, size, construction cost, anticipated number of employees or start-up date.
“I can’t tell you much,” said Allen Langdon, Multi-Material’s managing director. “It’s really Green by Nature’s and I’m not sure anything is finalized, so there’s not much more for me to say other than it’s part of the $32-million investment Green by Nature’s going to make in the province to upgrade infrastructure and build new facilities.”
Langdon said the Nanaimo facility will be the consortium’s biggest investment on the Island.
Albino Metauro, Green by Nature CEO, was not available for comment.
Nanaimo Mayor John Ruttan said he does not know if Green by Nature has secured a site in the city, but any location that would require rezoning would have to clear public consultation prior to approval from the city.
“If it does require zoning, and I don’t know that because I don’t know the exact address, but if it does require zoning then it will require a public hearing,” Ruttan said. “And at the public hearing the neighbours can come and vent their feelings on it and if they’re as vocal as I expect them to be it may not receive a very quick nod.”