New $2M Vancouver recycling facility accepting more items free of charge

Credit: (Rafferty Baker/CBC)


Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson was on hand to officially open the city’s new $2 million recycling facility on Thursday. The site has been built just around the corner from where the old facility shared space with the city’s dump.

“This has been some years in the works,” said Robertson. “Now we’re accepting more items than ever before in the city, and many of those items can be dropped off for free.”

Items that the so called Zero Waste Centre will accept can be dropped off free of charge, unlike the nearby waste transfer station, where fees apply to garbage, food scraps, mattresses, new drywall, wood waste and yard trimmings.

The new facility is a bit more spacious and elaborate, and will accept more items than the old one, including used cooking oil (with a 10-litre maximum per resident per day), bicycles, power tools, small appliances and electronics.

Though the city is promoting reuse of dropped-off items, in addition to recycling, a sign at the entrance says scavenging isn’t permitted.

Scott Martin was a the facility dropping off some metal and cardboard on Thursday.

“I love this whole thing that they’ve got going on here. The other one was a little bit half-assed, if you don’t mind me saying,” said Martin, who was eyeing a cart that had been dropped off by someone else.

“I was just looking at the cart there for the shop,” he said. “It could be good for moving stuff around the shop. It’s in decent shape.”

A bin full of lighting ballasts sits at the Vancouver’s new Zero Waste Centre. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

Barry Erickson, who is retired, but working part time on odd jobs, was also there making a drop.

“There’s a lot more space here. The other place was easier, more compact. Now I have to find my way through this place, get more comfortable with it,” said Erickson, who complained that he’d now have to make two stops when dropping off waste.

But he added that the new spot looked nice and less congested than the old one, and once he got used to it, he figured it would be better for everybody.

But scrap collector Darrell Trociuk wasn’t excited about the changes.

“I come here all the time. I do this for a living, so I come to the dump quite often,” said Traciuk.

Scrap collector Darrell Trociuk complains that the new facility is only open until 5 p.m., while the nearby dump where the old facility was stays open until 7 p.m. (Rafferty Baker/CBC)

“The problem is I have cardboard and metal and recyclable things that I want to recycle, yet the recycling department is closing at five o’clock, and the dump is open until seven,’ he said, adding that could be an issue for a lot of contractors. “You work until five. You need to unload your truck, so you can work the next day.”

Trociuk also complained that he couldn’t drop off old tires, paint and TVs at the new facility.

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