The Sicamous Return-It Depot is able to continue both its bottle return and community recycling operations thanks to a new bylaw rolled out at the beginning of this year.
The depot’s household recycling program has had an uncertain future for the last few years, as it was operating under temporary use permits that was allowing neighbourhood recycling for up to two years at a time.
In late 2019, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) and the District of Sicamous (DOS) explored an agreement to expand the bottle Return-It depot on Finlayson Street to incorporate community household recycling as well. Due to zoning restrictions the DOS initially denied the request, despite public support, said depot owner Jason Kim.
At the same time, the CSRD’s contract with its previous recycling location ended, so residents had nowhere convenient to recycle and were left unhappy, said Kim. The DOS then granted a temporary use permit for CSRD recycling services at the Sicamous depot for a period of two years.
Kim said he “received much praise from residents for diligently operating the depot and CSRD recycling during this period” and noted the convenience to residents.
As the end of the first contract neared, the CSRD offered an extension and another two-year contract until Sept. 2023 and the DOS extended Temporary Use Permit No. 19-282-TUP at the Sept. 22, 2021 council meeting.
In Jan. 2023, Bylaw 1000 was introduced in Sicamous and a revision included ‘neighbourhood recycling collection’ in Zone C-1, where the depot is located, said Kim.
Development services manager Scott Beeching confirmed the depot property is zoned C-1 Town Centre Commercial and the primary use of recycling depot remains an existing non-conforming use in the C-1 zone “and can continue as long as it does not close for more than six months.”
The CSRD recycling service can continue to operate at the same place as the bottle depot without needing any additional permits, and the bottle depot’s eligibility was never in jeopardy with the bylaw changes or temporary use zoning, Kim emphasized.
“I believe it is essential to let the residents know that, with the adoption of the new bylaw… the bottle depot has moved beyond the constraints of a temporary permit and will continue to be responsible for Sicamous town’s recycling efforts in the future in a combined form with community recycling,” said Kim.