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General News · 14th November 2008
Questions get answers.
I have learned that we are not the only community to be shut down. All across the province in small remote places like ours, where they have been taking care of their own stuff like us, have been shut down. It’s complicated but it came down to two things: first: the long awaited hard fought for eco fee was applied to products we want out of the landfills. Unfortunately the system that was created to deal with said products and the moneys collected wasn’t working very well. A new plan was enacted whereby the money would go to various non-profit groups who have developed a more efficient system. Companies like Encorp receive the goods from the public, store and ship them to be disposed of with out polluting. They are reimbursed from the eco fee. In order to get the licence necessary to handle these products the place where they are to be housed must pass strict regulations. The recycling centre does not meet the standard and because it is a regional district facility. Only privately owned businesses can apply. Second: the same non profits are now using some of the eco fees to help small outlying communities to build their own reclamation centres. To avoid individuals travelling great distances to dispose of the hazardous wastes and create a small business for someone. The fund holders will help in lots of ways to get you up and running, by providing all the infrastructure, and funds as well as the cost of shipping the material collected. So if someone here on Cortes wanted to take this on.

On a personal level it’s about taxes. The budget to run the centre comes from the .27 per $1000 paid in property tax. Next year we won’t be budgeting for transportation of all that nasty stuff so the rate will go down a few cents to 23 or 22. So we save money. Also the reasons for getting it done before the end of ‘08, no huge fine for failure to comply which would come out of your pocket and lower costs in ‘09.

win win
Here on Cortes we will be holding a yearly pick up off all the materials we no longer take at the Centre. A container will arrive on a thursday and leave the following tuesday. So you can hang on to stuff ‘til spring and use the drop or take it to town yourself.

What to do

Stale dated propane tanks: take them to Canadian Tire buy a new one and they fill it no charge as in free propane.

Tires: any place that sells them will take them back.

Batteries: same as above or take them to Budget Steel at 1942 Coulter Road and they will buy them.

Hazardous Waste: take it to the Encorp depot 1393 Maple Street Campbell River.

Paint: an empty dry paint can is a tin can and we will recycle it with the rest of the tin. Fresh reusable paint will still go in the old free store, key word is fresh. A can with 2 inches of sludge or rock hard paint goes to Encorp. All spray cans, marine paint and solvents go to town.

I hope to have new flyers in the mail next week from Product Care. It’s very detailed and covers just about everything you can think of regarding hazardous wastes.

To conclude I want a word with Chicken Little. The sky is not falling dear Chicken. I am holding it up for you and I am strong, determined and care very much about your well being and lifestyle. I got this I really do and I promise it will be ok. So please just relax and let your garbage Goddess fix it. It only hurts for a second if you just rip that bandage off.

Math fact: last year we collected 1363 litres of used oil, that’s 1.7 litres each for a population of 800. Almost the same numbers can be applied to propane tanks. So will it kill you to hang on to your tiny portion ‘til the drop in the spring?

Come see me if you want the long version but be prepared to stand there for a couple of hours while my face gets sore telling.

An opportunity !
Comment by norberto rodriguez dela vega on 15th November 2008
First of all, a huge thanks to Dova for all her efforts to find ways to handle this situation.

As you can read from this update, this issue may only get worse, and not only for Cortes Island. I am afraid this is only another sign of our difficult times.

However, as John Gardner says: "What we have before us are some breathtaking opportunities disguised as insoluble problems."

Taking this approach, this is a wonderful opportunity for look into ideas for reuse, repair, refurbish all our waste. And all this goes before recycling.

Of course, the best solution to deal with our waste is not to produce it in the first place, instead of find new ways to get rid of it. In other words: a general reduction in our consumption.

We talk a lot about local food, local energy, local building materials. It is due time to have a serious look into reducing our local waste!

Talking about electronics, even if we recycle that stuff, we must remember that the final destination of huge amounts of them (computers, stereos, TVs, phones, DVD players) is poor little villages in China, India or Africa. They are the ones that have to deal with our pollution. Is this fair?

Reducing our consumption will help in reducing our waste, which will cause less pollution.

Overall, this is a good opportunity to start changing our wasteful behaviours!