One size may not fit all for re-use sheds: RDBN

One size may not fit all for re-use sheds: Regional district of Bulkley-Nechako

The re-use shed’s current location by the dump was convenient for some

The re-use shed’s current location by the dump was convenient for some

Flavio NienowLake District News

 

According to the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako (RDBN) waste committee, a one-size-fits-all approach may not be the best solution to address the safety concerns at RDBN solid waste management facilities.

In September 2015, the RDBN decided to close all re-use sheds and ban salvaging activities at solid waste management facilities due to a number of troubling incidents directly affecting staff and public health and safety.

Last week the waste committee decided that municipal and area directors from each group of neighbouring communities (such as areas B and E) should determine their own delivery model and service levels and bring back those discussions to a RDBN meeting on Jan. 14, 2016.

The waste committee also determined that safety audits will be conducted at all RDBN solid waste management facilities. However, according to Bill Miller, Director of Electoral Area B, it still hasn’t been determined who will conduct the safety audits or when they will take place.

In order to make those decisions, the waste committee took into account the results of public consultation meetings that were held in October and November 2015.

Over 200 people participated in meetings that were held in nine different communities including Burns Lake, Southside, Granisle, Fraser Lake, Houston, Vanderhoof, Fort St. James, Telkwa and Smithers.

Fifty-four people attended the meeting in Vanderhoof and 20 in Fraser Lake. According to the RDBN, the main purpose of those meetings was to gather feedback from the community and to explain the reasons why the re-use sheds have been closed.

According to the RDBN, troubling incidents that took place at the re-use sheds include live ammunition found in a brown cassette tape brief case; prescription drugs left in a box; a dirty diaper found thrown in the corner of a re-use shed; and over 100 used hypodermic needles that were found in boxes mixed in with children’s toys. In addition, reports have been made regarding members of the public urinating and defecating behind a re-use shed.

According to a report prepared by Janine Dougall, RDBN Director of Environmental Services, members of the public attending the consultation meetings were “very passionate” about the re-use sheds and many expressed disappointment with the closure of the facilities.

The report says some people disagreed with the risk and liability associated with use of the re-use sheds, saying that the incidents that occurred were “rare and not a sufficient reasoning” to close the facilities.

During the meetings, participants were encouraged to forward ideas and suggestions in writing to the RDBN on how to safely and effectively operate the re-use sheds. The RDBN received a total of 86 feedback submissions.

Among the common themes that emerged during the meetings were suggestions for addressing the hazardous materials and bad behavior issues, including:

• Additional clear signage and public education;

• Additional staffing – both hired or volunteers;

• Not allowing unopened bags or boxes to be dropped off;

• Having a separate drop off area that is monitored;

• Training staff on how to effectively deal with aggressive people and situations;

• Installing camera systems;

• Paying membership in combination with signing a liability form;

• Calling the RCMP;

• Zero tolerance, fining people and banning people from the site;

• Having additional public education on available recycling programs;

• Reducing hours of operation of the re-use sheds to minimize additional staffing costs;

• Transitioning the management of the re-use sheds to non-profit organizations or partner with existing organizations to expand existing operations;

• Moving the re-use sheds closer to communities;

• Increasing the size of the re-use sheds and changing location to reduce traffic congestion;

• Only allowing children in the re-use sheds under direct supervision by an adult.

The RDBN has also investigated what other regional districts are doing with respect to re-use sheds. While some regional districts that operate re-use sheds are experiencing some of the same challenges, others are not having the same issues. According to the RDBN, in most cases where re-use sheds are working well, the facilities are staffed to a certain degree – either through the use of regional district staff, contractors or non-profits. In addition, materials accepted in these re-use sheds were limited to “good materials” in clean and working condition, and the decision as to acceptability of materials was up to the attendants managing the facility.

 

Just Posted

Emergency crews responded to the scene of a suspicious fire at the southeast corner of the OK Café in Vanderhoof Friday, June 11. The historic building is 101-years-old. (BC RCMP photo)
OK Café in Vanderhoof alright after suspicious fire

Damage kept to a minimum by firefighters

A person receives a COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. Northern Health confirmed it has the lowest vaccination rates amongst the province’s five regional health authorities. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
Vaccination rates in Vanderhoof, Fraser Lake, Fort St James well below provincial average

COVID-19 immunization clinics for youth 12+ coming up in Fort St. James

Steve McAdam (left) is studying substrate conditions in the Nechako River and how they impact sturgeon eggs. The work will help design habitat restoration measures, said McAdam. (Rebecca Dyok photo)
Sturgeon egg studies to help inform future habitat restoration

“It’s an interesting, challenging issue,” says Steve McAdam

Saik’uz First Nation Coun. Jasmine Thomas and Chief Priscilla Mueller speak about the need for addiction treatment facility near Vanderhoof, March 2021. (Aman Parhar/Omineca Express)
Vanderhoof addiction treatment centre tries again with ministry support

Agriculture minister insists she is not interfering in land commission

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

RCMP Const. Shelby Patton is shown in this undated handout photo. RCMP say that Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over on Saturday morning in Wolseley, east of Regina. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, RCMP
Pair charged in Saskatchewan Mountie’s death make first court appearance

Const. Shelby Patton was hit by an allegedly stolen truck that he had pulled over Saturday morning

David and Collet Stephan leave for a break during an appeal hearing in Calgary on Thursday, March 9, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Todd Korol
Appeal Court rejects stay for Alberta couple facing third trial in son’s death

Pair accused in their earlier trials of not seeking medical attention for their son sooner

Highway notices like this come down effective June 14. Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and commercial operation have hit local businesses in every corner of B.C. (B.C. government)
Province-wide travel back on in B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan

Gathering changes include up to 50 people for outdoor events

Most Read