The Nanaimo Recycling Exchange’s congestion shows that it is well-used and valued by the community, says letter writer. (NEWS BULLETIN file)

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Recycling depot well-used

I want to add my voice to those advocating for the preservation of the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange

To the editor,

Re: Recycle depot might not be in city’s plans, Sept. 19.

I am an enthusiastic fan of the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange and want to add my voice to those advocating for its preservation and expansion. I consider the Recycling Exchange program one of the most important environmental strategies operating in our city.

I lived in Vancouver and came to appreciate that city’s transfer centre where there was intentional sorting of recyclable goods. However, that centre still was mainly a way of sorting recyclable garbage. The Nanaimo Recycling Exchange is so much more.

I spent six years living in Winnipeg where the recycling program was minimal and made grateful for what we had here. Then I retired and returned to this wonderful city where I found that curbside collection had an added partner in the recycling exchange where I could return bottles/cans, and drop off glass, lumber scraps, Styrofoam, hazardous liquids, electronic waste and so much more.

I hope the City of Nanaimo can see the wisdom of this operation and grant the land and operational subsidies necessary to allow it to break even. I do not oppose fees for dropping off my unused items if I can be sure that they will be recycled.

In my opinion, the congestion at the present site is an indicator of how popular the site is with users.

Raymond Schultz, Nanaimo

To the editor,

Re: Recycle depot might not be in city’s plans, Sept. 19.

It will take the city two months to do a study, engineering and design another month and actual construction at least four months. Looks like another case of a critical problem being just kicked down the road in the hopes it will solve itself.

The mayor seems fixated on the cost, when actually the question is the benefits.

I have worked at the NRE for the last five months. We are responsible for ensuring whatever comes into the NRE is something we can accept and deal with accordingly.

Part of our mandate is to educate the public, starting with considering the possible methods of disposal even before they purchase an item. The frustration arrives when someone has been everywhere other than the landfill, only to be turned down by the for-profit companies. If it is not in one of our programs we cannot accept it without incurring a disposal cost ourselves. I am constantly asked, “If you won’t take it, what am I supposed to do with it?”

We are the last stop before many items end up in the woods, on the side of the road or in ditches. Many of these are hazardous wastes.

The correct question, Mr. Mayor, is what will they do with what no one else will take? And what is the cost of a new landfill?

Rod Hancock, Nanaimo

To the editor,

Re: Recycle depot might not be in city’s plans, Sept. 19.

I run a small gardening company and utilize the services of the recycle depot on a daily basis. I also recycle all household objects regularly. I find the employees that I come into contact with to be friendly and knowledgeable. Over the years, it seems that some employees have challenges and this employment helps to meet their needs. As an entry-level employment opportunity, many of the employees move on to better opportunities. I believe that a for-profit organization would employ a different group of employees and would likely charge for recycling. This could drastically reduce the public’s willingness to buy into recycling – something that presently seems to be working very well at the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange.

Doug Wilson, Nanaimo

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