Coast residents will be able to recycle large household appliances for free at the Pender Harbour solid waste transfer station and Sechelt landfill as of Nov. 1. The Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) will be partnering with Major Appliance Recycling Roundtable (MARR), the stewardship program responsible for large residential appliance recycling in B.C.
Program operating in Gibsons
Gibsons Recycling Depot has been on board with MARR, offing this service on the Coast since May of last year.
“We have been running the program for a year and a half. In 2021 we collected 2,072 appliances. So far, this year, we have collected 2,642 appliances,” Tyler Nygaard of Gibsons Recycling told Coast Reporter by email on Oct. 17.
“We really hope the public will continue to use us for appliance recycling as it is a revenue stream we rely on,” Nygaard wrote. He noted their operation is open seven days per week and they have staff on hand to help patrons unload the appliances, in most cases without a lineup for that service.
“Before being sent [to Vancouver] as scrap metal, all items containing freon are drained by a local, certified company. After that, we squish the appliances and load them into 50-yard bins for transportation. We squish the appliances to maximize the amount we can get in the bin, therefore fewer trips into Vancouver and a smaller greenhouse gas footprint,” Nygaard explained.
Details on SCRD's plans
The SCRD's facilities will be accepting refrigerators, freezers, clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, ranges, range hoods, built-in ovens and microwaves or over-the-range microwaves, air conditioners, trash compactors, food waste disposers, electric hot and cold beverage dispensers, water coolers and dehumidifiers, according to a press release.
The release also noted that its landfill and transfer station facilities have limited capacity and space to accept the product and that customers may encounter delays when arriving at the facilities.
The SCRD delayed implementation of the appliance recycling program until the public drop-off at Sechelt landfill was completed. It had been charging a $30 fee per unit for appliances with freon, and $50 per unit for appliances with ammonia. Other metal household appliances, except for air conditioners, were accepted for a charge based on a rate of $150 per tonne.
In the release, SCRD interim manager of solid waste services Rebecca Porte stated, “We anticipate that the elimination of disposal fees will result in an increase in the number of appliances being dropped off at our disposal facilities and, as a consequence, a reduction of illegal dumping of such appliances is also to be expected.”
Matress recycling also continues
In a related item, on Oct. 13 the SCRD board voted to continue to accept mattresses for recycling at its Pender and Sechelt facilities until the end of 2023. A one-year contract extension with Canadian Mattress Recycler Inc. was approved at a cost of $87,030.
A staff report to the board stated the recycler “segregates the metal, wood, foam, cotton and other materials into various categories to be bailed and shipped to material specific recycling facilities." The report stated approximately 97 per cent of mattress materials are recycled and that in 2021, 114 metric tonnes of potential waste was diverted from the Coast landfills through that program.
Fees charged to accept materials from the public were not adjusted. SCRD facilities charge $25 per piece for dry mattresses or box springs, $30 per piece if the items are wet and $5 for crib-sized mattresses.
Gibsons Recycling also accepts mattresses and box springs for recycling.
“We charge $50 per piece for them. The reason we are more expensive than the Sechelt Landfill is that we truck the mattresses to a recycling facility in Hope that completely breaks them down and will accept them whether they are dry or wet. The recycling facility in Hope charges us $22 per mattress once we deliver them there. With the cost of land for storing them, labour for accepting and loading the mattresses, ferry and fuel costs, is why we are $50 per piece,” Nygaard explained.