Work is progressing at the new Cache Creek Eco-Depot to the east of Highway 1 between Boston Flats and Cache Creek (behind structure at centre). (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

Work is progressing at the new Cache Creek Eco-Depot to the east of Highway 1 between Boston Flats and Cache Creek (behind structure at centre). (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

August soft opening projected for new Cache Creek Eco-Depot

Facility has been in the works for several years as a location was sought

Work on the site of the new Cache Creek Eco-Depot is about to resume after winter, and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District (TNRD) is planning for a soft opening of the facility in August.

The full-service Eco-Depot will be located on Campbell Hill Road East, adjacent to Highway 1. Instead of turning west at the highway junction to access the current transfer station, users will turn east and traverse a much better road with a minimal grade to get to the Eco-Depot.

“We’re waiting for the metal building to arrive; there have been some supply chain delays and issues with that,” says Ian Dalgleish, manager of capital projects and facilities for the TNRD. “It’s slated to be on site the second week of April, so the contractor will re-mobilize the site, do the grading and the rest of the dirt work, and get the building done.”

He adds that supply chain issues have added three or four months to the overall project. “The issues are very real. The metal building guy can’t get material, so what’s he supposed to do?”

Dalgleish says that archaeological work at the site took longer than expected, but has now been put to bed. Local First Nations — particularly the Bonaparte — were on site doing initial field work, and are on call in case anything is found during the construction process. “We’re almost finished digging, so the chances of finding anything are quite low.”

The building will house an office, washroom, and staff area, and provide dry storage for recyclables that shouldn’t get wet or could blow away, such as cardboard, newspaper, and styrofoam.

Adriana Mailloux, the TNRD’s manager of solid waste and recycling, says that the new facility will be able to accept many items that users can’t take to the transfer station. These include electronics and small appliances; used oil and antifreeze; and paints, solvents, pesticides, and gasoline; and batteries. The TNRD is also working on accepting beverage containers, as well as light fixtures and lightbulbs.

“We’re still working out some details, and are in the process of securing these programs, which we’re hoping and planning to offer at the site. We’ll be offering the full suite of what we offer at other Eco-Depots, but we’re currently amending the service agreements we have with different EPR [Extended Producer Responsibility] stewards.”

The EPR program covers all items where consumers pay a fee on top of their purchase price, such as TV monitors. “When you pay that up front, you’re paying for the collection, transport, and recycling of those products,” explains Mailloux. “It allows you to drop them off for free when you no longer need them.”

Liquids such as oil, solvents, paint, and more will be stored in containment units similar to what is used at other sites, n order to prevent any leachin of elements into the substrate. The units also sit on a poured asphalt pad, so they are not just sitting on gravel, and the site will be stocked with spill response equipment and gear.

The new EcoDepot will be equippped with a scale so that loads can be accurately weighed. Customers will be able to pay by credit or debit card, in addition to the prepaid punch cards that are currently the only payment method available at the Cache Cree transfer station. Mailloux says that the TNRD will also be rolling out a reloadable Eco-Card which residential customers can top up, with fees being deducted from the balance. These will eventually replace the punch cards, which are being phased out.

“We’re glad to have alternative payment methods at the site,” says Mailloux. She notes that the new reloadable cards are more environmentally friendly, since the punch cards cannot be recycled and have to be thrown out when they’re finished with.

“We’re very excited to offer these services to residents,” adds Mailloux. “It will be better than trundling up the present road, and that site is very tight. Cache Creek has a high customer count and high tonnage, so the new Eco-Depot will much better serve the needs of the community.”

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