GIRO receiving $6K from Community Works fund for used oil collection tank

Derek Kilbourn

Sounder News

Tuesday, August 29 2017

The Gabriola Island Recycling Organization will be getting a new 4,220 litre oil storage tank installed, with just over $6,000 in Community Works funding through the Regional District of Nanaimo.

Michele MacEwan had made the request of the RDN, saying in order for GIRO to resume serving as a used oil drop-off site for islanders, GIRO needs to purchase a double-walled tank.

The tank GIRO was using up until recently was a single-walled tank measuring 3,00 litres in size. After nearly 10 years of serving as a used oil site, GIRO had to stop accepting used oil due to liability issues with it’s off-island oil collection partners, and the storage tank no longer meeting the necessary requirements.

MacEwan said GIRO has now obtained the necessary insurance to cover the facility should the oil become contaminated.

“In the last six months it has been brought to our attention that two facilities [in BC] and a collector have collected used oil that is contaminated with PCB’s. 

“The cost to have this contaminated oil is over $100,000. Although the chance of us receiving contaminated oil here at GIRO is fairly slim, there is still a risk.”

Since stopping collection of used oil, MacEwan said GIRO staff have been recommending people take their used oil to appropriate facilities in Nanaimo.

In requesting the funding for the ne tank, MacEwan said, “I feel this service is highly valued by islanders and minimizes the risk of people resorting to dumping their used oil on their properties. Used-oil is still the number one contaminant found in groundwater.”

Howard Houle, RDN Director for Electoral Area B (Gabriola, Mudge, Decourcy) approved the use of the Community Works funds, saying, “The funding of the new used oil tank at GIRO really needed to be done. 

“It’s important that we take care of all our own used oil and this will continue the program for number of years to come.”

GIRO is not quite ready to start accepting used oil - MacEwan said as of Thursday last week that before the tank can be delivered, a new concrete pad will need to be poured to put the tank on. 

Announcements will be made by GIRO once the new collection tank is in place and is ready for islanders oil.