NRE suggests membership fees to pay for new recycling facility

Nanaimo Recycling Exchange lease at current site expires March 31

A rendering for the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange. CHECKWITCH POIRON ARCHITECTS INC. image

Selling memberships is an option Nanaimo Recycling Exchange is proposing in order to assist in the building of a new facility.

The exchange, located on Kenworth Road, will see a lease end at the end of March and is hoping for a new facility on property it owns on adjacent land. Ben Geselbracht, vice-chairman of the exchange’s board, made a presentation to the Regional District of Nanaimo board Tuesday and said there was urgent need for a motion to have a “focused round table with the NRE, local representatives and municipal staff” to discuss the details and options to enact a plan.

“It is now our belief that the simplest, most cost-effective route to realizing these facilities is for the NRE to build the facility ourselves by raising $100,000 a year through a membership drive and annual contributions of roughly $350,000 and $200,000 a year from the RDN and city respectively … a solution to our problem and the community’s need is possible with the right collaborative process,” said Geselbracht.RELATED: Nanaimo Recycling Exchange’s existence in questionRELATED: Campaign begins to keep Nanaimo Recycling Exchange open

In January, Bill Veenhof, RDN board chairman, said staff had been working with the City of Nanaimo and the NRE to develop details around the exchange’s request and financial and legal due diligence was required, meaning some of the conversation would have to remain in camera.

The regional district remains focused on the formal request from the exchange and the lease expiry is not tied to that, according to Veenhof.

“They have never given us a request associated with their deadline to move and so we’re not off track, we’re not on track, we’re not following it essentially,” Veenhof said.

In January, Veenhof also said he expected a formal report from staff would be come within a month and said the regional district is still “on track” with that.

Regarding the membership option, Geselbracht told the News Bulletin that he realizes the staff report process is currently underway, but the exchange wants to ensure multiple options are being brought to the table.

“We don’t know the numbers that are being presented in the staff report and that we wanted to make sure that if there was an issue of a shortfall, that they needed to see … community support. We could do a membership drive and possibly raise funds that way because there’s a substantial amount of support that we have,” Geselbracht said.

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