Robert Barron Gazette
Planned upgrades at the Meade Creek Recycling Centre will soon begin to bring the facility up to current environmental and safety standards.
The Cowichan Valley Regional District, which owns and operates the site, will be holding two open houses this month to provide the public with information about the project and to answer questions.
The proposed draft design of the upgrades, which are estimated to cost approximately $4.16 million, includes a free store, in which people can drop off and pick up items considered still usable for free, 13 recycling bays and two garbage bays.
The costs also include the remediation of three open piles of incinerator ash, totalling approximately 15,000 cubic metres.
The site operated as a garbage incinerator in the 1970s and in the late 1990s, the incinerator was decommissioned and converted into a recycling centre.
Remediation of the ash is one of the outstanding requirements in the CVRD’s solid waste management plan.
The ash piles will be consolidated into one and capped according to Ministry of Environment standards.
This will allow for more effective use of the property, including more temporary parking for dropping off recycling and a layout that allows vehicles to flow through the site more efficiently.
The upgrades will start this spring and plans are for the project to be completed in 2018.
The CVRD received $2.56 million from the federal government under the Gas Tax Fund last year to help pay for the upgrades, and intends to borrow the remaining amount.
This was the CVRD’s first time requesting gas tax funds for Meade Creek.
“Last summer, local residents were invited to submit feedback about the current recycling facility to inform the new design,” said CVRD chairman Jon Lefebure.
“Insufficient parking and inadequate manoeuvring space were common concerns mentioned. Residents also noted the current facility does not having enough recycling options or covered space.”
Tauseef Waraich, manager of recycling and waste management for the CVRD, said the Meade Creek Recycling Centre will be shut down during the upgrades, which could take up to a year and a half to complete, and a temporary satellite recycling centre will be set up during that time.
“We’re still in negotiations over exactly where that will be, and we’ll make a further public announcement when the site has been chosen, but there will be no interruptions in service,” he said.
“We’re hoping to have the satellite site chosen by March 1 and the upgrades at the Meade Creek Recycling Centre will begin some time after that.”
The first open house will be held on Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. at Youbou Hall, located at 8550 Hemlock St. in Youbou, and the second will be held on Jan. 25 at 6:30 p.m. at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena in Lake Cowichan.
For more information, go to cvrd.bc.ca/meadecreek