Letter: We’re all doing the right thing?

Tuesday, January 23 2018

Nanaimo Recycling Exchange (NRE) is centrally located within the City of Nanaimo, ensuring a convenient drop-off location. Just by observing how busy it is, is proof enough of NRE’s success. Without NRE taking the plethora of items they do, there will likely be even more illegal dumping. Basic research reveals that no other recycle facility nearby has a secondhand store where items are sold, thus kept out of the landfill, but NRE does. Nor do they accept Styrofoam, but NRE does. NRE is similar to GIRO, except on a much larger scale servicing a population of approximately 85,000 people.

GIRO services a population of about 4000 people, is completely independent of NRE, taking products elsewhere for recycling. Mr. Houle states that “the only thing we lack here on Gabriola is a Styrofoam baler” - implying the success of GIRO (and rightly so). This comparison thus implies the same for NRE, so why end a good thing? There’s no other facility nearby like NRE, aside from GIRO - if only they had a baler.  

The cost of a Styrofoam baler for GIRO is thousands of dollars, with it being a separate burden unto itself. It must be compressed, shrink-wrapped, then hauled away, adding to the existing load of recyclables. I also bet the lovely locals of Gabriola don’t want pieces and chunks of Styrofoam wafting around the yard at GIRO, and wherever the wind may take it, when there’s a Styrofoam baler present.  

And this is where I come in. I recently started a nifty little service where Gabriolans benefit from NRE too. I pick up household Styrofoam at residences for a small donation, taking it (as is) to NRE for recycling. I’m certain this venture is much more efficient, and cost effective, than purchasing a Styrofoam baler for GIRO. 

Just curious if anyone spoke with GIRO regarding the set-up of a Styrofoam baler like I did. Do they even want one? Aren’t they inundated enough with everything else? Perhaps I’m lightening the load for GIRO and our community by dealing with the Styrofoam dilemma. 

 Like GIRO is independent of NRE, I am independent of GIRO. However, including the community by and large, we are all doing the right thing by working together on the goal of Zero Waste?

Yours Truly,

~ Jane Simpson