Sicamous council agrees to temporary recycling solution

District to enter two-year agreement for recyclables collection at bottle depot

Sicamous residents will be getting a one-stop, downtown solution for recycling and bottles – at least for the short term.

At its Wednesday, Oct. 23 meeting, Sicamous council decided to locate recycling services being located at the Return-It bottle depot on Finlayson Street. The district and council have been opposed this move, but council made its decision in response to public input and the need for a solution before winter arrives.

“So we’re going to work with the CSRD (Columbia Shuswap Regional District) even though this clearly goes against the OCP (official community plan)…,” said town manager Evan Parliament, adding the co-location of services at the bottle depot will be initiated on a two-year trial. “We want to see if we can come up with a long-term solution to move both services to another location, not in the downtown. But in the meantime, because the winter is fast approaching, council feels the need to deal with this immediately so people aren’t inconvenienced.”

Through a recent recycling survey conducted by district, Parliament said Sicamous residents supported the concept of co-locating the bottle depot and recycling services – that this was more of a public concern than location.

“They just wanted it together. They didn’t want to have to go to the dump for recycling and to the bottle depot for bottles.”

Fifty-eight per cent of survey respondents (522 people) said they preferred amalgamating recycling services at the Finlayson bottle depot. Thirty-eight per cent (347 people) preferred the former Parkland Mall site. Another three per cent (31 people) were in favour of the recycle depot being moved to the industrial park.

Read more: Decision delayed on Sicamous recycling depot move

Read more: Update: Relocation of Sicamous recycling depot on hold

Read more: LETTER: What is the point of recycling

The Parkland Mall recycle depot site was closed in June when the operator’s contract expired. With the contract ending, the CSRD began a process of moving the recycling depot to the Finlayson bottle depot location – the intent being to have a one-stop drop-off location for accepted recyclables and bottles.

“This has been shown to increase the amount of recyclables collected and would be consistent with the CSRD’s other member municipalities,” states the CSRD in a related Oct. 21 news release, adding it was also an opportunity to increase the hours of depot operation from 24 to 36 hours per week.

However, the District of Sicamous wanted more time to discuss the move, after which Sicamous council decided not to support it.

“We do not support locating recycling facilities in our downtown core, as it contravenes section 8.5.3 of our official community plan… it compromises beautification efforts to our downtown core,” wrote Sicamous Mayor Terry Rysz in a letter to the CSRD.

Recently, the CSRD received concern from Recycle BC about Sicamous being without a downtown recycle depot.

As the CSRD’s contract with the provincial organization requires a downtown Sicamous location, the regional district has asked Recycle BC for an extension, until June 2020, to find a suitable site, and has asked the District of Sicamous for a list of acceptable alternative sites, so they can be reviewed and a mutually acceptable site can be determined.

Parliament said the district is working to enter into a two-year commitment with the bottle depot, and will be looking for a new location that will serve as a long-term solution.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

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