Castlegar depot closure leaves no place to recycle Styrofoam

Curbside collection continues and glass can be taken to the Ootischenia Landfill

The Zion Trucking Recycling Depot in Castlegar has closed, leaving residents without a local dropoff location for Styrofoam and other foam containers.

The depot previously accepted materials that are not included in the city’s curbside collection program, such as foam packaging, glass and certain plastics.

Most of those items can still be recycled at the Ootischenia Landfill, but residents will have to go to the Trail Bottle Depot to recycle their Styrofoam.

Officials at the Regional District of Central Kootenay, which operates the landfill, said they are working out a plan with RecycleBC to accept the items at the landfill. But it will probably be May or June before the program is ready to launch.

Castlegar CAO Chris Barlow says it’s unfortunate the situation has happened, but explained that managing recycling depots is handled by RecycleBC, not the city.

When the city introduced curbside recycling collection a few years ago, they tried collecting glass as part of the program. But because it required an additional trip to collect the glass, the program proved to be too expensive for the amount of participation in it, according to Barlow.

“There was so little set out on the curb, that it didn’t make financial sense,” he said.

“From an environmental perspective, the amount of greenhouse gas emissions we were creating by sending trucks around the whole community to pick up the glass curbside when we were getting very little just didn’t make sense on a number of fronts.”

What to recycle and where

Skyway Distributers is still operating a bottle depot at the Zion Trucking location. They only accept beer, cooler and hard cider cans or bottles from 10 a.m. to noon and from 1-4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays.

No changes have been made to the City of Castlegar’s curbside collection and a full list of recyclable items can be found at castlegar.ca/dmsdocument/27. Items that can be recycled include mixed paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, paper or plastic hot and cold beverage cups, milk cartons, clamshell containers, ice cream pails, plastic codes 1 through 7, plastic bottles and plastic containers.

The Ootischenia Landfill accepts all of the above plus glass food jars and plastic bags. A full list can be found on the RDCK website.

Castlegar isn’t the only city in the region that doesn’t have a place to recycle Styrofoam. Nelson doesn’t either.

The RDCK explains that recycling polystyrene foam is prohibitive for several reasons: it is bulky and expensive to manage; the process of breaking it down into a reusable material is resource-intensive; and the end product has little value.

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