The land that houses the Gibsons Recycling Depot has been sold, as owners Buddy Boyd and Barb Hetherington move towards a new role.
For the time-being, there will be no change in the depot’s operation as it will continue operate with a new landlord. The sale is scheduled to close Nov. 24 and is going to a local buyer who is happy to maintain the status quo. Boyd said he will honour his recycling contract with the SCRD, which runs through until November 30, 2018.
“I turned down offshore money that would have bought this whole thing and shut it down,” Boyd told the Local.
The two-acre property on Venture Way in Gibsons had been listed at $1.1 million.
Boyd said the recycling services he provides are “grossly underfunded” and that he and his partner have been subsidizing it.
That could have changed when the tender for the Gibsons green dump came up a few months ago, Boyd said, but the Town of Gibsons and the SCRD decided to continue operating it themselves, bypassing the benefits of “one stop drop”.
“Barb and I are environmentalists…We are going to move into activism.”
Knowledge of a pending sale prompted a sustainability consultant, Erich Schwartz, to lead an effort to raise money to buy the depot and operate it as a community asset. He has been talking to various community groups and local governments, and now is inviting community members to an information session about the project on Wed. Nov. 23 from 6 to 8 pm at Persephone Brewing.
Boyd said such a development is still possible, though it would be up to the new landlord.
Schwartz said recycling would be at the heart of the operation “because it keeps a steady stream of people coming through the door. Margins are not great on recycling, but there is a margin on refurbishing and repairing.”
His vision is to create an artisan village that would include activities such as carpentry, bicycle repair, and electronics repair. He points to Wayne Harjula of Mellon Glass, who is already making and selling embossed mugs using glass bottles brought in for recycling.
“We would create a synergy – artisans, hackers, tinkers all in one area sharing ideas and equipment,” said Schwartz. He would like to work with a university to create a mini-lab to experiment with materials, and has been talking to the Maker community about bringing in 3D printers which would use recycled plastic to create new objects.
An earlier version of this story said the recycling contract ran through 2017. In fact, as the story now correctly states, the contract runs to November 30, 2018.
Though Barb and I are deeply saddened that things have come to this, it must be understood that in Zero Waste Community Action Planning, reuse, repair, refill, repurposing, upcycling and home composting all take priority over curbside collection. Too many communities are peddling a fake version of Zero waste that’s heavy on rhetoric and light on substance.
The only community in BC that has an actual functioning Zero Waste Resource Recovery facility, that did not cost taxpayers any money to create, and that focuses on reuse and repair, can not get adequate funding if contracts are not tendered for reuse, repair, resource Recovery and Zero Waste.
We have been patiently waiting for this to happen, we crated this vision for the future. But sadly, it just did not get the support to take it to the next level.
Hopefully, with a new coat of paint and some new people at the helm, GRD will be around for years to come. We had the plan and vision in place for the past 5 years, we got a lot of the things done, but without the support, the other components have been on hold, lie reuse, repair, environmental educational outreach center, for job training and mentoring and of course the artisan zone.
Barb and I are extremly hopeful saving this community asset will spark some interest among our local elected officials, to step up and help keep this going.
In terms of so-called “Sustainability” or should we say, *unsustainability*, a cornerstone is the bipartite problem comprised of the amount we consume combined with the amount we waste.
How much we purchase and, subsequently, how much we throw away is difficult for governments to control.
Bad design, a race to the bottom – for the lowest possible price, planned obsolescence…
All fostered and fueled by a materialist, consumeristic society, with greed and profit ensuring insane amounts of waste.
The good news is, our governments, on behalf of the taxpayer, do at least have an opportunity to provide bold leadership in how we address our waste.
Throwing it into a blue box and green bin, while thinking we are “doing our part” is feel-good nonsense and should serve as an embarrassment to a society that claims to be ‘evolving’ and ‘advancing’ technologically.
Surely we can recognize that further degrading resources by mixing them together in a truck and driving them all over hell’s half acre in the name of green initiatives is not a solution?
Surely we can employ working solutions that are already successful in other countries?
Is not GRD such an example?
What will it take for local officials to see the value of GRD and incorporate it into the OCP?
How much more effort on the part of this social enterprise will wake up and spur on the R.D. to show leadership in the area of how we treat these local resources?
The oft bandied phrase: “You can ‘recycle'”, is in fact, the very last resort in the waste hierarchy.
When will we take such a basic civic duty more seriously?
Currently, we are light years away from “Zero Waste”.
How about, right now, we all agree its time, high time, to move beyond “Recycling”?
The 8 R’s are:
and as a last resort