(From left) Regional SPCA manager Tracy Westmoreland, SASCU board member Constance Ladell, Shuswap SPCA manager Victoria Olynik, SASCU board chair Barry Johnson and SASCU CEO Barry Delaney were on hand to officially open the new recycling centre at the Shuswap SPCA branch March 8. (Jodi Brak/Salmon Arm Observer)

Shuswap SPCA opens new recycling centre in Salmon Arm

New facility funded by SASCU Canada 150 grant

The Shuswap branch of the SPCA unveiled its new recycling centre to the public March 8, the result of a $50,000 Canada 150 grant from the Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union (SASCU). The new facility will make volunteers’ work easier, who spend many hours throughout the year sorting bottle donations which bring much-needed revenue to the SPCA.

The grant was awarded based on community voting.

“The SASCU Canada 150 grant process demonstrated the principle on which the credit union system was built. Our members had a direct voice in how the grant would be invested within our communities and voted for this project,” Johnson says.

In the past SPCA volunteers would sort bottles outside or underneath a makeshift tarp shelter when bad weather flared up. Through rain, sleet or snow these volunteers braved the elements to assist the SPCA and allow them to continue their work helping vulnerable animals in Salmon Arm and the surrounding area.

Victoria Olynik, branch manager of the Shuswap SPCA, says “it’s great to know we are part of such a close-knit community and that sense of community extends to our furry friends. As a non-profit organization we really depend on support like this. We are grateful to be part of such a generous community.”

In 2017 alone bottle donations brought in $16,000 to the SPCA, making up a fairly significant part of their funding. The SPCA receives no direct government funding, so donations, recycling revenue and grants are what allow them to continue their mission to care for vulnerable animals and find them loving homes.

“The bottle money stays at our Shuswap branch, helping pay for the needs of neglected and abused animals. And we help keep the glass, plastic and cardboard out of the landfill by recycling,” Olynik says.

She hopes that the new facility will also encourage the community to be more proactive about ensuring their recyclables are properly processed and sorted.

“I hope it gives people a sense of giving back as well, when they come here they can see directly how their donation is affecting these animals and going back to the community,” she says.

The recycling centre building is a modular structure that is also portable, something the Shuswap SPCA was mindful of as they are working out the logistics of moving to a new location with more space that is more suitable for their work.

This SASCU grant comes not long after the SPCA received $62,000 in January from PetSmart Charities to go towards free spaying and neutering of cats in the area. Olynik says the branch aims at offering the service to 350 cats across 2018 and have already seen 250 felines through their door to be spayed or neutered in just over two months, proving the program a success.

Bottle donations can be dropped off at the Shuswap SPCA’s new recycling centre, right outside their branch office at 5850 Auto Rd. S.E..


 

@Jodi_Brak117
jodi.brak@saobserver.net

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