February 25, 2021
Regional District Addresses Operations of new Resource Recovery Centre
Powell River, BC – At the February 25, 2021 Regional Board Meeting, the qathet Regional District (qRD) Board approved a hybrid public and private staffing model for management and operations of the Resource Recovery Centre (RRC).
In British Columbia, regional districts develop solid waste management plans (SWMPs) under the Environmental Management Act. SWMPs provide long-term visions and goals for management of solid waste and guide regional solid waste management related activities and policy development.
In 2016, the qRD, with the support of the City of Powell River and Tla’amin Nation, was successful in receiving a $6 million grant to remediate the former incinerator site on Marine Avenue and to develop a RRC on the site as well as revert unused land to a community amenity. This proposed waste management facility will provide the community with opportunities to reuse, upcycle, and recycle the majority of their waste, while providing an option to dispose of those portions of the waste stream that cannot be diverted.
Regional District Board Chair Patrick Brabazon stated, “We have come a long way from the days of shipping everything to the landfill. Our Solid Waste Management Service is heavily scrutinized due to ever increasing provincial and federal standards, including the provincial Energy Step Code for Local Governments,” said Brabazon. “Utilizing a comprehensive staffing model that engages solid waste management experts and provides qRD oversight, ensures the operation of the Resource Recovery Centre will remain fiscally responsible to taxpayers.”
Under the hybrid model, a contracted site supervisor will manage privately contracted equipment operators and recycling attendants. Site oversight will be provided by the qRD to ensure taxpayer dollars and user fees are properly managed. RRC operations will require the addition of four new positions including a Manager of Environmental Services, Diversion Specialist and two RRC scale house attendants.
Figure 1: RRC Hybrid Public and Private Operations Staffing Model
Manager of Asset Management and Strategic Initiatives, Mike Wall stated, “Private waste management businesses have been keen collaborators throughout the development of the SWMP and ongoing waste diversion initiatives. The qRD has built and fostered strong working relationships with those in the private waste management sector and we are keen to continue working with these experts as RRC operations move forward.”
Chief Administrative Officer Al Radke stated that the approved hybrid model offers both flexibility and accountability. “Working in combination with private contractors who have the experience, capacity, equipment, skills and training necessary for recycling and transfer station operations will result in a sustainable, forward thinking solution as we continue to implement our regional solid waste management goals of zero waste.”
The qRD remains committed to implementing the goals and priorities outlined in our SWMP. To review the qRD Solid Waste Management Plan and to learn more about the Resource Recovery Centre please visit qathet.ca.
Shelley Termuende, Communications Advisor
qathet Regional District
#202 – 4675 Marine Avenue
Powell River, BC V8A 2L2