Ozzard Environmental is closing the Ucluelet Recycling Depot on Forbes Rd.
Saturday, March 25 will be the last day folks can drop-off their recycling until Recycle BC finds a solution.
“It comes down to money and land. People could be bringing out pitchforks, but look, I don’t know who would put this on their own property to make $100,” said Ozzard Environmental co-owner Mayco Noel.
Noel, Ucluelet’s former mayor, said the majority of Recycle BC depots are situated on municipal land not private land. He said the weekly cost to operate the Ucluelet depot was about $1,000 and that it only brings in about $50 on a weekend.
“Economically, it just doesn’t make any sense. The model of Recycle BC is not constructed to deal with private mom-and-pop shops like ourselves. It’s designed for municipalities. And again, I just have to pull the band-aid off. I don’t have the manpower to do it anymore. I just want it off my property,” he said.
Ucluelet mayor Marilyn McEwen says the district is working with Recycle BC to find a solution.
“They are working on alternative options to offer continuous recycling services for materials that are not accepted curbside in the Ucluelet area. They are motivated to find a solution as quickly as possible,” said McEwen in an email.
Recycle BC manager of stakeholder relations Ann Danilevich says they are “committed to providing access to recycling services to the residents of the District of Ucluelet.”
“In the event of a service gap, we recommend that residents hold on to their materials until they are heading into a neighbouring community with a depot and then use that opportunity to recycle them,” said Danilevich in an email.
“We thank residents for their commitment to recycling and for their patience while we work on securing a long-term partner and location for the small number of materials that are not accepted in curbside collection,” she said.
Noel told the Westerly that Ozzard Environmental is considering converting the property into a gravel mart or storage for boat trailers. He went on to say that Ucluelet’s residential recycling pick-up program will not be impacted by the depot closure.
“We are here to work with the community. This has been an awkward conversation for all of us,” said Noel.
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