The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) appears to be close to announcing a date when Salish Soils will open a recycling depot for the Sechelt area under the Multi-Material BC (MMBC) program.
The question came up last Thursday, June 5, at the SCRD’s infrastructure services committee, when Sechelt director Darnelda Siegers asked where the SCRD-run Sechelt depot would move to, and when.
The Sechelt depot was originally slated to open on May 19 as part of the province-wide launch of MMBC, with the established depots in Gibsons and Pender Harbour also expected to come under the MMBC program on that date. The target was later changed to June 1.
In response to Siegers’ question, Jeremy Valeriote, the SCRD’s manager of waste reduction and recovery, said there were “a few last things to iron out,” but the new recycling depot at Salish Soils should be open on June 16, and the SCRD facility on Highway 101 would stay open until June 30.
The information would be coming out in the paper the following week, he said, adding that the dates “might change a bit next week.”
When Coast Reporter asked at the end of the meeting if the tentative date meant the SCRD had signed a contract with Salish Soils, Valeriote told committee chair Lee Turnbull, “Madame Chair, if I was able to take back my answer, I’d probably say we’re in discussions and the information will be released to the public in the next week or two.”
He added that he couldn’t comment on the contract discussions in that forum.
Meanwhile, Gibsons Recycling Depot (GRD) co-owner Buddy Boyd said Wednesday that GRD, GRIPS in Pender Harbour and Salish Soils had formed a recycling depot coalition, agreeing that no one would sign a contract with the SCRD unless all three operations were fairly compensated for their services.
“The reason we made this agreement was so that one depot operator would not leverage a better deal for themselves while the other two depot operators were left twisting in the wind,” Boyd said in an email.
He said the two established depots also agreed to share their hands-on experience with Salish Soils “to make sure the folks at Salish Soils weren’t taken advantage of by having no experience at operating a recycling depot.”
As part of that exchange, he said, GRD co-owner Barb Hetherington freely shared her analysis of the SCRD contract with the other two operators.
“We did not think it fair that we benefitted ourselves while GRIPS and Salish Soils might not have the same advantage we did, since we have worked for three years at understanding this really poorly designed stewardship plan.”
He said neither GRD nor GRIPS had signed the SCRD contract, as “we still have no idea how the compensation for ‘services rendered’ will work and how the MMBC situation will fit in with the long-planned resource recovery for the Sunshine Coast.”
GRIPS manager Ken Lee confirmed Boyd’s statements. Salish Soils owner Aaron Joe could not be reached for comment.
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