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General News · 1st November 2008
norberto rodriguez dela vega
The following notice appeared here at the tideline on Oct 24, and was also published at the flyer on Oct 31.


As of November 1st, 2008 the following toxic items will no longer be accepted at the Cortes Island Recycling Centre: All automotive fluids, paint, garden chemicals, batteries, electronics and tires.

All Automotive Fluids: Return to supplier
Paint: Return to supplier
Garden Chemicals: Return to supplier
Batteries: Return to supplier or drop off free of charge at the Campbell River Waste Management Centre
Electronics: Desktop computers, keyboards, mice, laptops, fax machines, printers, photo and label printers, computer monitors and TVs including plasma and LCDs

You can drop off regulated products without charge for recycling at the Encorp Return-It Centre in Campbell River The Campbell River Bottle Depot located at 1580-F Willow Street Campbell River - Ph: 250-287-4224 - Hours of Operation: Mon-Fri 9am-5:30pm, Sat 9am-5pm,Closed Sun

Tires: Return to tire supplier

It seems to me the Regional District is being disrespectful with this news. Without any community consultation we have been told we don’t have this service anymore. One interesting thing I noticed is that the news comes from the Comox Regional District. Cortes Island does not belong to that district anymore, right?

It also seems to me we haven’t realized the implications from this news. I think this is much more serious that we can imagine:
how are we going to dispose of all these toxic items?;
are we going to go back to bury them in our backyards?;
dump them in some public land or into the ocean?

The environmental damage will be significant.

Now, if I remember correctly, we are paying for this removal services through our Property Taxes. Then, if the Regional District is no longer providing that service it will mean we will have a good tax discount for next year, right?

This situation has bigger consequences and things to think about. Nowadays we talk a lot about sustainability, self-sufficiency and being local.

We usually talk about local food, local energy, local building materials. Things we can produce, things we consume. However we never talk about the other end of the spectrum: our local waste!

I think it is due time we must ask ourselves: how can we deal, locally, with our own waste? (and not only the toxic one); what are our alternatives?

Even more, we also need to understand that the bigger our population is and the larger our houses, the more waste will be produced. We seldom contemplate that because we take for granted that the government will deal with that. That we have the right for those services. Guess what, this may not be necessarily true anymore! And who is to say we may lose other services in the near future. We have to understand the economic crisis is also affecting the government.

Maybe it is time to revisit the ideas of reuse, repair, refurbish all our waste. As always, the best solution to deal with our waste is not to produce it in the first place, instead of how to get rid of it.

That kind of behaviour will actually help us in being sustainable. Perhaps this news will help us with our awakening.

In the meantime, I think we should write to both our Regional District and the Comox Regional District and demand a delay in this service cut, until we find alternatives.

I suspect we will see more waste
Comment by Richard Trueman on 1st November 2008
"are we going to go back to bury them in our backyards?;
dump them in some public land or into the ocean?

The environmental damage will be significant. "
End Quote:

Despite the good practices of many of us I suspect there are some who will just ditch the stuff.

Who can keep it for months then use up a ferry trip to lug it across.

Surely we can have a pooled bin for "toxic" stuff that gets taken off regularly by the same company we pay for in taxes.