More than 75 area residents attended four open house meetings in Ashcroft and Cache Creek on June 19 and June 20, to find out more about Eco-Depots in general, and the three proposed sites for a new Ashcroft/Cache Creek Eco-Depot in particular.
The meetings were held by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD), which is looking to build a new Eco-Depot in the area in the wake of changes to its recycling program when it joined Recycle BC and the closure of the recycling facilities in Ashcroft and Cache Creek in August 2018.
Recycling for both communities is currently being handled at a Transfer Station at the Cache Creek landfill site; a site that has drawn criticism from residents, largely because of its distance from both communities and the road leading to it.
Staff from the TNRD were on hand at the open houses to explain what an Eco-Depot is, discuss the pros and cons of the three local sites that are under consideration for an Eco-Depot, and answer questions. Jamie Vieira, Environmental Services Manager for the TNRD, said that people appreciated the meetings. “The open house sessions worked, and people asked questions and gave feedback.”
The three site options for the Eco-Depot are the current Transfer Station site; at Boston Flats off Highway 97C; and the former Wastech chip reload site off Highway 1. Storyboards gave the locations, as well as the pros and cons, of each site, and also explained what services an Eco-Depot offers. Renderings of what the proposed Eco-Depot would look like were also presented.
“We gave a lot of people information they didn’t know,” said Jake Devlin, Director of Environmental Services for the TNRD. “We were able to give people lots of background information.”
Vieira said that everyone he spoke with had a different perspective. He added that the key messages of the open houses were to have people understand what an Eco-Depot is, and to have residents complete a survey about the proposed Eco-Depot, including where it should be sited.
“Everyone who came in did the survey, or said they were going to,” said Andrew Roebbelen, the TNRD waste reduction co-ordinator, who added that people he spoke with felt very strongly on all sides of the question.
Paper copies of the survey will be available at at the Cache Creek and Ashcroft Village offices until June 28 (the surveys can also be dropped off at the Village offices until that date). The online survey will be live until July 2 (go to www.surveymonkey.com/r/eco_depot).
Feedback from the survey will be included in a report that will go to the TNRD board this summer, and will help determine the next steps after that in establishing an Eco-Depot in the Ashcroft/Cache Creek area.