TIMELINE: Six years striving for a new NRE

Through this campaign we have demonstrated the overwhelming community support for the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange. Ask a data analyst and they will tell you, any organization, business or individual seeking office would drool for these kind of numbers. The NRE has “social license” – they have earned the respect of the community and are treated as a valued member of it.

This is why the political foot dragging and ball tossing by our local governments documented in this timeline is frankly baffling to us and the thousands of people we’ve heard from. One of the most common remarks is, “This is a no-brainer!”

People are angry and frustrated. They cannot understand how we got to the point where this valued service provider is on the verge of being forced to shut down. We created this timeline to help answer that question.

We’ve written about the aggressive lobbying against the NRE by the for profit recyclers. We’ve heard local politicians echo their talking points. Rumours have been spread to tarnish the NRE’s reputation, an easy thing to do in the age of social media.

One of the common criticisms we’ve heard during the course of this campaign goes something like this: “Why did the NRE wait so long to do something about their situation? Why haven’t they been more proactive?”

Let’s debunk that notion once and for all. We hope you find this timeline illuminating. Whatever happens at the council meeting on Monday March 12th, we urge you to remember what happened before.

2012

Nanaimo Recycling Exchange appoints new executive director Jan Hastings

Nanaimo Recycling Exchange appoints new executive director Jan Hastings

SHAW TV – Nanaimo Recycling Exchange Changes

NRE in discussions with City of Nanaimo about need to relocate

City and RDN involved in approval of NRE site design adaptation to new bylaws for recycling depots and solid waste regulations. City senior managers suggest City of Nanaimo build new recycling depot for NRE to operate based on recycling services provided to City.

2013

OCT 10 – Development Permit Application No. DP000751 (2491 Kenworth Road)

OCT 10 – Development Permit Application No. DP000751 (2491 Kenworth Road)

At the meeting of the Design Advisory Panel – Permit application DP000751 – 2491 Kenworth Road – from Jan Hastings on behalf of Windhover Enterprises Ltd, for the development of a full service recycling and environmental education centre. It was moved and seconded that DP000751 be accepted as presented.

2014

JAN 28 – Funding request for new recycling centre presented to the Regional District of Nanaimo board of directors

JAN 28 – Funding request for new recycling centre presented to the Regional District of Nanaimo board of directors

Jan Hastings provided a visual presentation and overview of the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange, and requested the Regional District of Nanaimo partner with and provide funding to the organization.

“The regional district board approved a motion at the meeting that will see staff prepare a report on possible funding mechanisms.”

“The regional district board approved a motion at the meeting that will see staff prepare a report on possible funding mechanisms.”

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – Recycling Exchange Seeks Financial Support

FEB 14 – RDN staff report recommends, “That the Board deny the funding request as presented by the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange at this time.”

FEB 14 – RDN staff report recommends, “That the Board deny the funding request as presented by the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange at this time.”

“If the NRE is unable to continue operating due to the inability to finance their required more and new location development, staff recommend that the Board consider issuing an RFP to replace the service provided by the NRE.”

FEB 25 – NRE funding options referred back to RDN staff by Board of Directors

FEB 25 – NRE funding options referred back to RDN staff by Board of Directors

MOVED Director Brennan, SECONDED Director Young, that this matter be referred back to Regional District of Nanaimo staff: That the Board deny the funding request as presented by the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange at this time. CARRIED

RDN sub-committee recommends NRE explore other options

RDN sub-committee recommends NRE explore other options, including a cheaper build, partnership with a private recycling corporation to build and lease space to the NRE, or finding a developer to build and lease space to the NRE.

“Nanaimo Recycling Exchange’s Future is uncertain as they face the financial burden of having to relocate and build a new facility.”

“Nanaimo Recycling Exchange’s Future is uncertain as they face the financial burden of having to relocate and build a new facility.”

SHAW TV NANAIMO – Nanaimo Recycling Exchange Funding

“Nanaimo Recycling Exchange (NRE) faces closure if they can’t get local governments to provide financial support. Where will people go to drop off their yard waste? Will illegal dumping result?”

“Nanaimo Recycling Exchange (NRE) faces closure if they can’t get local governments to provide financial support. Where will people go to drop off their yard waste? Will illegal dumping result?”

MID ISLAND NEWS BLOG – Nanaimo Recycling Exchange faces closure

“The City of Nanaimo and the Regional District of Nanaimo should be saying yes to the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange and saying no to an incinerator at Duke Point.”

“The City of Nanaimo and the Regional District of Nanaimo should be saying yes to the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange and saying no to an incinerator at Duke Point.”

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – LETTER: Recycling a better solution than incinerating (Photo: Trish Kuziek/Facebook)

“Instead of starving them of very modest operating funds we should be applauding their efforts and trying to enable them to do more.”

“Instead of starving them of very modest operating funds we should be applauding their efforts and trying to enable them to do more.”

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – LETTER: Non-profits have right recycling priorities

Newly elected city council votes NO to making land available to the NRE

In November 2014 the newly elected city council holds an in-camera meeting for NRE presentation on costs of Zero Waste recycling and need for new facility. The NRE would fund construction of a facility if city land was made available. Council voted NO to making land available to the NRE.

2015

NRE consults architects and engineers

NRE consults architects and engineers to explore cheaper design options. City bylaw requirements on structures and strict site requirements for recycling depots eliminate this option.

NRE looks at partnership with private sector recycler

NRE explores the idea of leasing a facility built by a private sector recycler. Private sector investment requires return on investment. Lease costs would be too high for the NRE.

2016

NRE explores build to lease arrangement with private developer

Private development requires return on investment. Projected lease costs too high for the NRE.

Significant time and NRE resources lost exploring alternative designs and construction options.

2017

After exhausting other options, NRE continues efforts to fund construction

NRE explores the feasibility of funding a new facility from NRE operations. The new building designed to fit NRE’s budget is a shell: unheated, uncooled, unfinished. Due to strict regulations for recycling facilities, site costs come in at 40% of the construction budget and once again put construction out of range for NRE.

Nanaimo Recycling Exchange: “It is fair to say that each entity has suggested the other pay; meanwhile, the NRE has been funding recycling services.”

Nanaimo Recycling Exchange: “It is fair to say that each entity has suggested the other pay; meanwhile, the NRE has been funding recycling services.”

NRE sends letters to Nanaimo City Council and the Regional District board of directors informing them that the NRE’s lease will expire on March 31, 2018. “The NRE respectfully request your renewed attention to the future of Nanaimo Recycling Exchange, and we request a date and time to meet to discuss a solution.”

Vancouver Island Recycling and Waste Industry Coalition: “We request that City of Nanaimo stop subsidizing the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange”

Vancouver Island Recycling and Waste Industry Coalition: “We request that City of Nanaimo stop subsidizing the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange”

VIRWIC sends letter to Nanaimo mayor & council. “The City of Nanaimo, should not be in competition with the private sector or provide subsidies to the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange to compete with the private sector.”

JULY 24 – NRE letter referred to city staff to set meeting

JULY 24 – NRE letter referred to city staff to set meeting

“It was moved and seconded that Staff contact Jan Hastings, Executive Director, Nanaimo Recycling Exchange, in order to select a date and time for a meeting. The motion carried unanimously.”

JULY 25 – NRE letter referred to RDN staff

JULY 25 – NRE letter referred to RDN staff

17-382 It was moved and seconded that the correspondence from Jan Hastings, Nanaimo Recycling Exchange, regarding Nanaimo Recycling Exchange need to relocate be referred to staff. CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY

“Nanaimo Recycling Exchange could shut down in eight months without help from local governments.”

“Nanaimo Recycling Exchange could shut down in eight months without help from local governments.”

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – Nanaimo Recycling Exchange’s existence in question

“Designs were revealed on Wednesday for a new recycling depot on Kenworth Road as Nanaimo-area politicians and staff toured the recycling exchange and its future home.”

“Designs were revealed on Wednesday for a new recycling depot on Kenworth Road as Nanaimo-area politicians and staff toured the recycling exchange and its future home.”

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – Designs revealed for new Nanaimo recycling depot

“The Nanaimo Recycling Exchange is at a crisis point and is in jeopardy of being shut down.”

LANTZVILLE COMMUNITY NEWS – The Nanaimo Recycling Exchange needs HELP

“It’s great to see the wide variety of products accepted at the NRE and it is also fascinating to see the complexity of running an organization like this.”

“It’s great to see the wide variety of products accepted at the NRE and it is also fascinating to see the complexity of running an organization like this.”

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency visits Nanaimo recycling depot

SEPT 14 – NRE formally asks the City of Nanaimo to purchase the Kenworth Rd. property and fund the build.

SEPT 14 – NRE formally asks the City of Nanaimo to purchase the Kenworth Rd. property and fund the build.

VIDEO: NRE executive director Jan Hastings presents the NRE’s case to the Finance and Audit Committee. Derek Haarsma speaks in support of the NRE’s proposal.

“Come Out and Have Your Say! Help Us Make Zero Waste Happen”

“Come Out and Have Your Say! Help Us Make Zero Waste Happen”

The RDN announces the beginning of the public consultation phase of it’s new 10 year solid management plan. The draft plan includes a 90% diversion target and earmarks $300,000 per year for Zero Waste recycling.

“It’s time we stepped up to the plate and we support our mandates with our wallets with respect to recycling in this community.”

“It’s time we stepped up to the plate and we support our mandates with our wallets with respect to recycling in this community.”

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – Nanaimo Recycling Exchange faces uncertainty as city explores options for recycling

SEPT 18 – Council requests staff report regarding the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange initiative: “We’ve been having this discussion for four years.”

SEPT 18 – Council requests staff report regarding the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange initiative: “We’ve been having this discussion for four years.”

It was moved and seconded that Council table consideration of resolution #39817 and direct Staff to bring forward information and details regarding the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange initiative within two weeks. The motion carried unanimously.

“Nanaimo Recycling Exchange sees 1,500 cars through its gates a day but with its lease running out within months the recycling depot isn’t sure what will happen in 2018.”

“Nanaimo Recycling Exchange sees 1,500 cars through its gates a day but with its lease running out within months the recycling depot isn’t sure what will happen in 2018.”

CHEK NEWS – Recycling centre’s future uncertain in Nanaimo

“Jan Hastings, executive director of the recycling exchange, told the News Bulletin she feels like she’s going in circles again.”

“Jan Hastings, executive director of the recycling exchange, told the News Bulletin she feels like she’s going in circles again.”

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – Recycling depot chairman spells out Styrofoam message on city hall steps

OCT 2 – Council votes 5-4 to send the NRE to the RDN.

OCT 2 – Council votes 5-4 to send the NRE to the RDN.

“It was moved and seconded that Council refer the provision of One Stop Zero Waste Recycling Services to the Regional District of Nanaimo. The motion carried. Opposed: Mayor McKay, Councillors Armstrong, Brennan and Thorpe.”

“We’ve bounced this group back and forth between the RDN about six times already. If we can’t get support from the members of Nanaimo council to commit to it, it will go nowhere at the RDN.”

“We’ve bounced this group back and forth between the RDN about six times already. If we can’t get support from the members of Nanaimo council to commit to it, it will go nowhere at the RDN.”

NANAIMO NEWS NOW – Cost confusion complicates council decision about Nanaimo Recycling Exchange  

OCT 3 – Recycling Exchange delegation to the Regional District of Nanaimo Board of Directors

OCT 3 – Recycling Exchange delegation to the Regional District of Nanaimo Board of Directors

Jan Hastings provided the Board with an update on the future of the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange and asked the Board to consider entering into discussions with Nanaimo Recycling Exchange to secure a location for their facility to enable them to continue advancing the Region’s target of 90% waste diversion.

“Brennan said referring the NRE’s request to the regional district continues punting a problem around to delay making a decision to spend. She said the city should honour its zero waste aspirations.”

“Brennan said referring the NRE’s request to the regional district continues punting a problem around to delay making a decision to spend. She said the city should honour its zero waste aspirations.”

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – City will ask regional district to partner with recycling exchange

“This is a service that we need to invest in if it matters to us, and it should. Zero Waste is a worthy goal and a lot of us can do more individually to work toward that ideal. In the meantime, the NRE is taking a lot of the initiative to help make it simpler for us.”

“This is a service that we need to invest in if it matters to us, and it should. Zero Waste is a worthy goal and a lot of us can do more individually to work toward that ideal. In the meantime, the NRE is taking a lot of the initiative to help make it simpler for us.”

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – EDITORIAL: Recycle with right intent

“If the city and the RDN truly want to take us to a Zero Waste future, one without landfills or incinerators, while failing to invest in the centre-piece of our region’s efforts to reduce waste, then they are fooling themselves.”

“If the city and the RDN truly want to take us to a Zero Waste future, one without landfills or incinerators, while failing to invest in the centre-piece of our region’s efforts to reduce waste, then they are fooling themselves.”

Ian Gartshore – The Value of Supporting the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange

“Those folks have been working in squalid conditions for so long now, yet are being successful with the purpose of recycling. Hat’s off to them.”

“Those folks have been working in squalid conditions for so long now, yet are being successful with the purpose of recycling. Hat’s off to them.”

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Recycling solution should be prioritized

“It is sad that once again the fine people who keep this valuable enterprise functioning have been punted to the regional district where a decision will languish and likely be punted again. No doubt in the hope that this time it will collapse and they can wash their hands of it.”

“It is sad that once again the fine people who keep this valuable enterprise functioning have been punted to the regional district where a decision will languish and likely be punted again. No doubt in the hope that this time it will collapse and they can wash their hands of it.”

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Activity at recycling depot is proof of its importance

“This is an important, urgent issue and opportunity, which if missed by mayor and council’s dithering will cost all of Nanaimo.”

“This is an important, urgent issue and opportunity, which if missed by mayor and council’s dithering will cost all of Nanaimo.”

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Recycle depot needs support of city council

“This is the time for the City of Nanaimo and the RDN to come together and assist the NRE with the building of the new facility on Kenworth Road.”

“This is the time for the City of Nanaimo and the RDN to come together and assist the NRE with the building of the new facility on Kenworth Road.”

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – LETTERS: Depot’s work goes beyond recycling

Vote Yes NRE aims to mobilize people to write politicians and garner support.

Vote Yes NRE aims to mobilize people to write politicians and garner support.

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – Campaign begins to keep Nanaimo Recycling Exchange open

“It’s clear that the NRE is a tremendous asset to the community, as it provides a service to residents at a very low cost.”

“It’s clear that the NRE is a tremendous asset to the community, as it provides a service to residents at a very low cost.”

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – OPINION: Action needed on Nanaimo Recycling Exchange

“RDN voting themselves a raise but can’t get their act together to do something about the recycling depot. Atta boys guys!”

“RDN voting themselves a raise but can’t get their act together to do something about the recycling depot. Atta boys guys!”

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – LETTERS: Recycling should be prioritized by regional district

2018

“Backers of the recycling exchange are continuing to gather community support until a decision is made.”

“Backers of the recycling exchange are continuing to gather community support until a decision is made.”

CHEK NEWS – Nanaimo Recycling Exchange asks Regional District for new home

JAN 8 – Vote Yes NRE delegation to Nanaimo City Council

JAN 8 – Vote Yes NRE delegation to Nanaimo City Council

“By now I have spoken to thousands of people about the NRE’s situation and I would like to share with you all some of my observations, as well as some of the thoughts and concerns that keep coming up in these conversations.”

“The writing is on the wall for the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange but those who support the organization are not giving up.”

“The writing is on the wall for the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange but those who support the organization are not giving up.”

MY COAST NOW – Residents show support for NRE

JAN 9 – Vote Yes NRE delegation to the Regional District of Nanaimo board of directors

JAN 9 – Vote Yes NRE delegation to the Regional District of Nanaimo board of directors

“I believe that in the decision facing you in regards to the new Nanaimo Recycling Exchange, you have an opportunity to show vision, leadership and regional cooperation, and vote together on an issue that matters deeply to Nanaimo and RDN residents.”

Ilan Goldenblatt and Majorie Stewart talk about the challenges facing the NRE

Ilan Goldenblatt and Majorie Stewart talk about the challenges facing the NRE

CHLY – Changes Radio

“The fate of the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange is still uncertain less than two months before its lease expires March 31.”

“The fate of the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange is still uncertain less than two months before its lease expires March 31.”

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – Recycling exchange’s future still cloudy after presentations to city, region

“The Nanaimo Recycling Exchange is creeping closer to accepting its last load, as the longstanding non-profit agency struggles to secure capital funding for a new facility.”

“The Nanaimo Recycling Exchange is creeping closer to accepting its last load, as the longstanding non-profit agency struggles to secure capital funding for a new facility.”

NANAIMO NEWS NOW – No funding promises following public campaign to save Nanaimo Recycling Exchange  

“None of us at this table want to close it down…”

“None of us at this table want to close it down…”

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – City council receptive to recycling exchange plans

“There’s been a bit of a jurisdictional hot potato, or tossing the ball back and forth, between the city and the regional district over whose responsibility it is.”

“There’s been a bit of a jurisdictional hot potato, or tossing the ball back and forth, between the city and the regional district over whose responsibility it is.”

CHLY – A Sense of Justice

“The NRE’s new-look plan involved raising $100,000 annually through a membership drive and roughly $350,000 and $200,000 a year contributed by the RDN and City of Nanaimo respectively for 25-years.”

“The NRE’s new-look plan involved raising $100,000 annually through a membership drive and roughly $350,000 and $200,000 a year contributed by the RDN and City of Nanaimo respectively for 25-years.”

NANAIMO NEWS NOW – Nanaimo Recycling Exchange changes gears, proposes to help fund new home

“Geselbracht told the News Bulletin that he realizes the staff report process is currently underway, but the exchange wants to ensure multiple options are being brought to the table.”

“Geselbracht told the News Bulletin that he realizes the staff report process is currently underway, but the exchange wants to ensure multiple options are being brought to the table.”

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – NRE suggests membership fees to pay for new recycling facility

“Conditional financial support has been made to the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange, but it falls well short of what the non-profit organizations asked for.”

“Conditional financial support has been made to the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange, but it falls well short of what the non-profit organizations asked for.”

NANAIMO NEWS NOW – Money announced for Nanaimo Recycling Exchange, but request to build new facility denied

“The Regional District of Nanaimo has decided against purchasing land from the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange and constructing a new recycling facility.”

“The Regional District of Nanaimo has decided against purchasing land from the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange and constructing a new recycling facility.”

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – RDN won’t build new facility for Nanaimo Recycling Exchange

FEB 16 – “The RDN Board of Directors has declined a request from the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange (NRE) for the RDN to purchase land and construct a purpose built recycling facility”

FEB 16 – “The RDN Board of Directors has declined a request from the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange (NRE) for the RDN to purchase land and construct a purpose built recycling facility”

NEWS RELEASE – RDN Confirms Support for NRE in SWMP

“Should the exchange fail to secure money, it would have to completely shut down”

“Should the exchange fail to secure money, it would have to completely shut down”

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – NRE optimistic about future, will ask city for money  

“I can’t understand what the City of Nanaimo and the Regional District of Nanaimo don’t get when the very busy, valuable NRE is about to close”

“I can’t understand what the City of Nanaimo and the Regional District of Nanaimo don’t get when the very busy, valuable NRE is about to close”

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – LETTER TO THE EDITOR: City, region missing big picture with NRE

“One only has to look around and see the volume of materials that this place is keeping out of landfills and illegal dumping sites which include our watershed and oceans.”

“One only has to look around and see the volume of materials that this place is keeping out of landfills and illegal dumping sites which include our watershed and oceans.”

NANAIMO NEWS BULLETIN – LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Money spent on NRE an investment in zero waste

NRE goes back to Nanaimo City Council on March 12th

NRE goes back to Nanaimo City Council on March 12th

Nanaimo Recycling Exchange representatives will go before Nanaimo City Council on Monday March 12th. The meeting begins at 4:30pm in the Shaw Auditorium of the Vancouver Island Conference Centre. If you support the Nanaimo Recycling Exchange please commit to attend this very important meeting.