Qualicum Beach to end multi-family recycling program

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Qualicum Beach will no longer collect recycling from multi-family properties as of April, 2021. Town council voted to end the program unanimously at its Dec. 9 meeting.

“We are charging like two dollars a month when the actual cost is getting closer to eight dollars a month — when you count the anticipated increases, which means the tax payer is subsidizing this,” said John Marsh, director of finance in a presentation to council.

He said the town got involved in multi-family recycling  as a temporary measure until the Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN) could get a program in place to replace it. “Well, this has been like ten years and it hasn’t happened. It’s a heavily subsidized program, it’s not really a good program,” Marsh said.

“From staff’s standpoint, we are not in the solid waste business — that isn’t part of our core services. The solid waste is provided by the Regional District of Nanaimo.”

He recommended council move to end the program in April in order to give residents enough time to find alternate arrangements for their recycling.

Coun. Teunis Westbroek suggested contractors of new developments be encouraged to create an easy way for residents to deal with their recycling during the planning process. “If it is convenient, people will participate — if it is not, they won’t,” he said. 

“We really need to capture that share of the market — without that, we will never reach the goal — which is a pretty audacious goal from the RDN, that I support, is to go to zero waste, which will take a long time. But one of the things we need to do is to include multi-family facilities,” Westbroek said.

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