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.

Just Posted

Raine Maida, Chantal Kreviazuk will present new duo act in Nanaimo

Couple touring new album ‘I’m Going to Break Your Heart’ across Canada, starting at Port Theatre

Bucs lose to Cougars, hockey season is over

Nanaimo falls 4-3 to Victoria in Game 6 Friday night

UPDATE: Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway in Nanaimo

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre

Hospital and care residence in Nanaimo see flu outbreaks

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s Influenza A outbreak confined to rehabilitation unit

Dump truck driver hurt after highway crash in Ladysmith

One man airlifted to hospital after collision between dump truck and pickup truck Friday

UPDATE: Motorcyclist dies after three-vehicle crash on old Island Highway in Nanaimo

Accident happened at 12:15 p.m. Friday near Country Club Centre

Vancouver Island motorists attempted CPR on victim in fatal Highway 4 crash

Collision took place west of Whiskey Creek; man in his 70s died

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

2 fires in Victoria caused by cigarettes prompts warning from deputy fire chief

Two separate fires caused by cigarette butts were avoidable

Wildlife activists slam B.C. business, clubs for ‘wolf-whacking’ contests

Chilcotin Guns, Creston Valley Rod and Gun Club and West Kootenay Outdoorsmen Club under fire

City sets aside surpluses as councillors choosing priorities

Nanaimo ended up with $4.5-million general surplus in 2018

Most Read