When the Regional District of Central Kootenay hosted their recent hazardous waste round-up in Nelson, they couldn’t believe how many people showed up.
“We were overwhelmed by the amount of waste that was dropped off. Many people had been saving used oil and paint for several years,” resource recovery technician Travis Barrington told the Star.
“Everyone working at the event, including our contractor, noticed that the number of cars we had arrive was not much more than past years, but the amount of material in each vehicle was more than expected.”
By the end of the day they had collected nearly 2,000 litres of used oil and 10,000 litres of material in total. The drums and containers brought to transport the waste were completely filled — leaving 20 to 30 residents out of luck. That makes it one of the busiest stops in their seven-community tour.
“A few dozen more left the event on their own because they did not want to wait in line,” said Barrington. “Several residents attending the event were also surprised to learn that all or most of the materials they were bringing could have been brought to the Leafs depot at any time.”
He said most people are unaware of Paints Plus, the program that’s been introduced to take paint at the depot.
“What I would like residents to know is that even though this event is a necessity for accepting many dangerous materials that have no stewardship program to manage them, there are many items that are still covered by a stewardship program,” said Barrington.
“It does not take long to see that we have some serious gaps in that access in the RDCK, notably the lack of a used oil depot in Nelson.
“It should be up to the stewards to remedy this by offering sufficient collection service and financial incentive for businesses and non-profits that agree to host a drop-off depot.”
The next roundup will be held on Sunday, Oct. 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Leafs depot. They will also be accepting electronics, small appliances and light bulbs.
For a full list of stewardship depots check the Recycling Council of British Columbia’s website at rcbc.ca.