A new plastics recycling depot in B.C. is ready to fight plastic ocean debris.

The Cumberland depot, which was opened in mid-June, was christened with a 40-yard-storage-container’s worth of ocean plastic collected by a volunteer group. One of three similar facilities to date in B.C., the depot will help deal with the ongoing coastline plastic debris issue.

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Coastal community cleanup groups on eastern Vancouver Island have been itching for the opening of B.C.’s newest ocean debris recycling depot.

The Cumberland site, operated by Comox Strathcona Waste Management (CSWM) in partnership with the Ocean Legacy Foundation, opened in mid-June to tackle the tonnes of plastic washing ashore in the region, said Stephanie Valdal, CSWM’s waste management services co-ordinator.

The site collects materials from shoreline cleanup efforts and legacy equipment from commercial fishing and the aquaculture industry, providing essential infrastructure to divert plastics from the landfill and reduce oceanic pollution, she said.

A volunteer community cleanup group on Quadra Island, the Beach Clean Dream Team, christened the depot by collecting enough marine debris to fill a 40-yard shipping container, Valdal said.

“There are lots of people who have been waiting specifically for the depot to open so they can bring stuff in so it won’t end up in the landfill,” she said.

The site will collect lost or discarded fishing and aquaculture gear (such as netting, ropes and shellfish trays) and marine debris like plastic buoys and chunks of polystyrene (Styrofoam), typically used to float docks and platforms.

Preview text: Rochelle Baker, National Observer, July 22nd 2022

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