Jan Hastings, executive director of Nanaimo Recycling Exchange, explains how bags have to be broken open to sort plastic to Ian Thorpe and Bob Colclough, Regional District of Nanaimo directors. News Bulletin file

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Recycle depot needs support of city council

This centre is easy to access and serves all of Nanaimo

To the editor,

Re: Activity at recycling depot is proof of its importance, Letters, Oct. 17.

I have read (in this publication and online) and heard (through friends and acquaintances I consider knowledgeable and informed) that our city council, through lack of support, is on the verge of letting the NRE recycling yard in central Nanaimo close. This closure is largely because our politicians seem to be happier dealing with prettier projects. It is ridiculous to think that this centre, which accomplishes so much on such an obvious shoestring budget, would be allowed to close. This centre is easy to access, serves all of Nanaimo, keeps an extraordinary amount out of the landfills, is highly used by the public and by its nature encourages recycling. Nanaimo is fortunate to have a public so highly engaged in recycling. If this centre is allowed to close, mayor and council are directly responsible for discouraging the citizens of Nanaimo from recycling because they are making it more difficult and very likely, more expensive, for citizens to do so.

Yes the actual landfill for our garbage is the responsibility of a different level of government, but through our trash, is directly used by everyone in Nanaimo. Putting off replacing it is a cost savings to every one of us. Just look at Edmonton, where it took a decated to locate a new landfill site, 85 kilometers away. Does one not think that there was a large increase in cost to every taxpayer for this and that Nanaimo would very likely go through a similar process? So, as our current landfill is aging, and we have a facility which directly helps to extend its longevity and keep its cost down, why do our politicians continue to dither when to assist the NRE to maintain their recycling centre is the obvious choice? I know this decision has been visited by more than one council, including some of the existing councillors.

This is an important, urgent issue and opportunity, which if missed by mayor and council’s dithering will cost all of Nanaimo.

G. MacGregor, Nanaimo

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