The former Nanaimo Recycling Exchange facility on Kenworth Road was demolished last month and the site has been levelled. GREG SAKAKI/The News Bulletin

NRE will present business plan to the public this month

Nanaimo Recycling Exchange plans public engagement sessions for May 26 and May 30

The NRE is almost ready to share its business plan as it continues to pursue the potential for a one-stop recycling depot in Nanaimo.

The Nanaimo Recycling Exchange will hold two public engagement sessions later this month to present its draft plans for a “progressive, zero-waste facility,” said Ben Geselbracht, NRE vice-chairman.

He said the recycling exchange will then consider the feedback from the engagement sessions and prepare to go back in front of city council in June.

In March, the NRE asked council for $6.05 million to construct a new facility on Kenworth Road, but council did not commit any money, with several councillors suggesting they would need to see a more detailed business plan. Later that month, the NRE closed, and by the end of April, its former site had been demolished and levelled.

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“We’ve taken this amount of time to put [a plan] together to make sure that all the t’s are crossed and i’s dotted, so that every bit of financial information is present and that it’s been double- and triple-checked,” Geselbracht said. “We really wanted to be super thorough on making sure that everything was in place so that there will be no reason other than lack of support for the initiative to disregard it.”

He said the plans that will be presented this month will make a case for why the NRE is important to waste diversion, and show building costs, operational costs and longer-term projected costs.

Geselbracht was asked about the importance of going back before council now, while the topic is current and before people get used to not having the NRE around.

“There’s a certain window,” he said. “However, [with] this type of facility, there’s a need –regardless whether it happens in a month or two months – that’s not being filled. So on our end, it was more just making sure that we had a rock-solid business plan that was checked by the community and vetted by the right people.”

The public engagement sessions will be held at the Beban Park social centre on May 26, 10 a.m.-noon and May 30, 7-9 p.m. The Nanaimo Recycling Exchange anticipates making a presentation at a Nanaimo city council meeting June 11.


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