New facility opens as top in province

"North Cowichan contributed the smelly compost," quipped CVRD chair Mayor Rob Hutchins as he welcomed a big crowd to the grand opening of the $4.2 million state-of-the-art recycling centre at Peerless Road March 12.

The Cowichan Valley Regional District’s flagship facility would never have been built without $1.68 million from the federal Gas Tax Fund. The regional district stumped up the rest of the money.

"We offer the broadest range of recycling options in B.C.," Hutchins said, talking about the 650 items that can be recycled at Peerless Road.

He also pointed out that the facility, which was built with a lot of green touches, includes a ceiling constructed of wood logged on the site.

The facility’s staggering list of recyclables includes everything from major appliances to organic food waste, from used needles to books, used oil and leftover paint.

Nanaimo-Alberni MP James Lunney said the federal government was delighted to be able help out with construction of such a superb community amenity.

Innovation, creativity and a West Coast design have combined to make the site functional and beautiful, he said.

North Oyster area director Mary Marcotte read a comment from B.C.’s Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, Coralee Oakes, congratulating the CVRD on the grand opening and saying how glad the province was to be part of the partnership. The site housed a batch incinerator for two decades, spewing pollution into the air and laying down a bed of 45,000 tons of ash.

That has been contained, and 125 tons of metal was reclaimed from it before it was sealed up.

Dealing with the ash onsite rather than shipping it away saved the CVRD millions of dollars, Hutchins said.