Nanaimo Recycling Exchange asks Regional District for new home

Nanaimo Recycling Exchange asks Regional District for new home
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WATCH: A non-profit organization that’s been recycling in Nanaimo for 25 years is asking the Regional District of Nanaimo for a financial contribution. The Nanaimo Recycling Exchange desperately needs a new home. This week they’re asking the RDN to build one so the non-profit can survive. Kendall Hanson reports.

Since the early 90s, the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange has worked to achieve its aim of zero waste.

“This is the facility where you can recycle more things than any other facility in Nanaimo,” said Ilan Goldenblatt of the group Vote Yes Nanaimo Recycling Exchange.

But for the past five weeks, it’s been working towards another goal – finding a new home.

Several years ago, it purchased the neighbouring property and has been paying a mortgage on it but it doesn’t have the money to build a new facility.

So now they are collecting signatures as they seek help footing the bill.

They’re asking the Regional District of Nanaimo to build it and then lease it back to the recycling exchange. These are renderings of what’s planned.

“Nanaimo Recycling Exchange has had a facility designed that’s looking more to the future so it is a better, more efficient and safer than the mess they’re operating in right now,” said Goldenblatt.

With 20 jobs at stake, the Regional District is looking into the idea and staff are working to figure out the cost.

Backers of the project insist it will be low if it is spread out over many years.

But private recyclers wonder why tax dollars would go to an organization that would amount to competition for them.

The Nanaimo recycling exchange says they’re needed to ensure as many materials are recycled as possible.

“The absolute best way to deal with the hard-to-recycle and non-profitable items is a not-for-profit,” said Goldenblatt. “Is an organization like Nanaimo Recycling Exchange that isn’t looking at it just as dollar signs.”

The recycling exchange has support. They’ve already collected 4,400 signatures from Qualicum Beach to Saltair.

Backers of the recycling exchange are continuing to gather community support until a decision is made. It’s one that will not only impact a lot of people but how much stuff is diverted from the city’s landfill.

Kendall HansonKendall Hanson

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