The current Nanaimo Recycling Exchange site on Kenworth Road. The NRE hopes for a new depot nearby, but it’s asking for $6.05 million from the City of Nanaimo for construction. NEWS BULLETIN file

Editorial: Depot can’t be built without plan in place

The Nanaimo Recycling Exchange continues to teeter closer toward closure

We want to recycle, but it could become a lot harder to do here in Nanaimo.

The Nanaimo Recycling Exchange continues to teeter closer toward closure as an 11th-hour solution wasn’t found this week and it’s now more like half past 11.

There was no decision made at the City of Nanaimo committee of the whole meeting Monday as to whether to support the NRE’s request for $6.05 million to build a new facility on Kenworth Road.

Councillors have been criticized for a perceived lack of support for the NRE, but this week, they really had no other choice. The recycling exchange came in front of council and proved without a doubt that they have the support of the community, but couldn’t prove that they had a workable financial plan. Councillors had questions about operational costs that the NRE couldn’t answer, beyond pointing to past financial statements. Yes, the recycling exchange deserves some benefit of the doubt for its efforts over the last 25 years, but it’s talking significant changes to operations, and if it has considered those changes, it wasn’t able to show its work, so to speak, when it approached council on Monday.

Coun. Ian Thorpe pointed out that the NRE is a non-profit and city council doesn’t generally ask non-profits to provide business plans when they come to council chambers, cap in hand. But the recycling depot, along with drawings of what its new building might look like, needed to have more information about what its operations will look like, and cost, at a new facility.

Monday’s discussion demonstrated that there hadn’t been adequate communication between the NRE and the city throughout the process so far. Those conversations should have happened, because a shutdown of the NRE’s operations will impact the city’s curbside collection. (And unfortunately, the Regional District of Nanaimo’s landfill.)

Recycling is important to the community and should receive taxpayer funding. Maybe $6.05 million, but not $6.05 million plus a whole bunch of blank cheques. If recycling in Nanaimo is to include the NRE, there has to be a plan, or at least an understanding.

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

Just Posted

Beefs & Bouquets, Feb. 27

To submit a beef or a bouquet to the Nanaimo News Bulletin, e-mail editor@nanaimobulletin.com

Nanaimo woman leaves friend’s home, now considered missing

Ashley Sheppard, 31, has not been heard from since Feb. 10

Francophone festivities in Nanaimo this weekend

French Canadian culture and cuisine highlight Maple Sugar Festival du Sucre d’Érable

Nanaimo Redmen become Nanaimo Seahawks

Football Nanaimo says new moniker reflects West Coast heritage

Nanaimo woman to compete in new season of ‘Big Brother Canada’

Carol Rosher, a cancer survivor, is one of 16 houseguests appearing on reality TV show

RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

Pickton was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for the murders of six women

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs optimistic ahead of talks with feds, province

Discussions with provincial and federal governments expected to start later today

‘The project is proceeding’: Horgan resolute in support of northern B.C. pipeline

B.C. premier speaks as talks scheduled with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

BREAKING: Kelowna RCMP to further investigate 12 sexual assault cases, create sexual assault unit

Recommendations come five months after it was revealed 40% of sexual assaults were deemed ‘unfounded’

Explicit Greta sticker linked to Alberta company draws outrage

The sticker includes the logo of Red Deer-based X-Site Energy Services

Share Now, formerly Car2Go, leaves Canada with valuable data in changing market: expert

Vancouver was its largest market in North America, with more than 300,000 customers

Off-duty RCMP officer helps catch Cache Creek car thief

‘This is just one example of how we are always ready to respond to emergencies’

What’s happening: Coronavirus forges on, as world hunts solutions

Japan closes all elementary, middle and high schools until spring holidays in late March

RCMP to stop providing security for Prince Harry and Meghan

Public safety minister says RCMP has been helping UK police intermittently since November

Most Read