The Regional District of Mount Waddington is working towards bringing the hamlet of Quatsino into its solid waste management plan.
Quatsino’s addition was recently approved by Environment Minister Mary Polak.
“This is good news. The last of our communities will now be integrated into Seven Mile [Landfill],” said Operations Manager Patrick Donaghy at the RDMW board meeting July 14.
In an interview, Donaghy explained that for years Quatsino has been taking its garbage to an old quarry site and periodically burying the garbage in an operation similar to a landfill.
“They have no licence to dispose of their garbage there, but because the community is so small and so isolated it has been allowed to carry on,” Donaghy said.
The Regional District is updating its regional solid waste management plan and in that process “it would become obvious that the material from Quatsino was being disposed of in a manner that did not meet the regulations set out by the Ministry of Environment,” he said.
In order to address this issue, about a year ago a series of meetings were held with the community.
“What we did was we wrote up an amendment to the solid waste management plan to, over time, have Quatsino bring that garbage to Seven Mile Landfill.”
That plan was approved by the Minister of Environment.
“Last year we used our MMBC [Multi-Material BC]-funded program to start a recycling program in Quatsino with the hopes that if we can maximize recycling, we can minimize the amount of garbage that needs to be taken to Seven Mile,” said Donaghy.
“They had a building that was supposed to be used as a blacksmith demonstration display” he said.
Since it was sitting idle “we’ve been using that to house a recycling depot” and the volunteers at the Quatsino Museum have been doing a great job “monitoring and managing the depot.”
Over the next couple of years the regional district will set up a permanent recycling depot/transfer station in Quatsino using Gas Tax funding to collect recyclables and garbage created by the community which will then be taken to the Seven Mile Landfill and Recycling Centre.