New waste re­cov­ery fa­cil­ity opens in Whit­bourne

The Compass - - ENVIRONMENT - ANDREW ROBINSON TC ME­DIA ed­i­tor@cb­n­com­

For years now, res­i­dents of Whit­bourne have typ­i­cally been driv­ing all the way to Robin Hood Bay in St. John’s to dis­pose of bulk garbage.

But as of this past Satur­day, a new waste re­cov­ery fa­cil­ity is in place to serve that town and many oth­ers within driv­ing dis­tance. The Whit­bourne fa­cil­ity is lo­cated on Old Bri­gus Road.

“It’s con­ve­nient ac­tu­ally for the whole sur­round­ing area,” said Whit­bourne Mayor Hilda Whe­lan at the of­fi­cial open­ing event June 24. “It’s a great fa­cil­ity. It brings em­ploy­ment to our town and we’re quite happy to have it — as long as it’s not un­sightly.”

The fa­cil­ity rep­re­sents the 10th of its kind within Eastern Waste Man­age­ment’s ser­vice area. It will serve as a free drop-off site for res­i­den­tial bulk waste, in­clud­ing fur­ni­ture, hot wa­ter tanks, elec­tron­ics, mat­tresses, met­als, tires and con­struc­tion ma­te­ri­als amongst other items.

Ed Grant, chair­man for the Eastern Re­gional Ser­vice Board, told The Compass all sites for bulk garbage col­lec­tion are strate­gi­cally lo­cated.

In ad­di­tion to han­dling res­i­dent bulk col­lec­tion, the fa­cil­ity will even­tu­ally serve as a de­pot. One part-time em­ployee is cur­rently there for the 16 hours the site will open on a weekly ba­sis, but once the de­pot is in place, a fur­ther dozen peo­ple will be based out of Whit­bourne.

“When you con­sider our re­gion is from Clarenville to St. John’s, it’s pretty strate­gi­cally, cen­trally lo­cated,” said Grant.

It took some time to find an ap­pro­pri­ate site for the fa­cil­ity. Ac­cord­ing to Grant, it cost close to $500,000 to pur­chase the land. A fence still needs to be erected, and a build­ing for the de­pot has not been built as of yet. De­vel­op­ment of the site has cost $220,000.

Be­yond serv­ing as a means to al­low peo­ple to re­duce clut­ter in their homes, Grant rec­og­nizes the im­por­tant en­v­i­ron- men­tal value linked to open­ing the fa­cil­ity. He ac­knowl­edged the fact many peo­ple con­tinue to take old re­frig­er­a­tors and other large items, dump them at the end of a ru­ral road and leave them there.

“Un­for­tu­nately, peo­ple still do that,” he said. “But the eas­ier we can make it and the closer we can make it to do this, that’s our in­tent. Bring these sites to the var­i­ous lo­ca­tions so that peo­ple are not go­ing to be en­cour­aged to throw it in the ditches.”


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