End to the Oak Bay Tea Party recycling debacle

District hopes to rebuild relationship with green committee

Oak Bay staff is working hard to rebuild bridges with the green committee in the wake of allegations that much of the recycling collected during the Oak Bay Tea Party ended up in the landfill, said Mayor Nils Jensen regarding the post-event recycling debacle.

Terri Hunter, co-chair of the Oak Bay green committee, contacted the News earlier in the week and claimed that much of the recycling she and the committee had collected at the Tea Party was thrown in the garbage by Oak Bay staff.

At the time, Jensen confirmed that some recycling had made its way into the trash, though he could not determine why or how much. Staff and committee members met to discuss the incident after the News’ deadline on June 10.

“The meeting between staff and members of the green committee was productive and discussed how to avoid mistakes in the future,” Jensen said.

“It’s unfortunate that such unfounded allegations were made, but our staff is working very hard to rebuild the bridges with the green committee. … At the end of the day we’re talking about a handful of recyclables that got into the wrong stream by mistake,” he added.

In an email to the News, Phil Barnett, superintendent of public works detailed the turn of events from the staff perspective.

Some of the recycling, he explained, had been left behind temporarily in totes on the beach and were not thrown away, and some plastics had mixed with organics when a bag broke on the truck. Those were separated again, and were also saved from the landfill, he explained.

“At issue is what happened to two bags of plastic and approximately five to six bags of corn cobs that the volunteers say was collected,” wrote Barnett.

“I don’t have the answer, but it is possible they may have ended up in the garbage. If they did, it was a mistake, and not done with malice. We have learned from this year and will improve the system for next year.”

Hunter, who remains upset about the incident, believes that some amount of recycling collected was lost, said the more salient issue is to move forward and get the public on board with a zero-waste philosophy, especially in light of the kitchen scraps program to be launched in 2014.

“We need to have a system in place so that we all work well together,” Hunter said. “The end product is always that we want people to recycle.”

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Scarlet fever reported at Victoria elementary school

Parents advised to look for symptoms of ‘strawberry tongue’ and rash

Saanich dog walkers react to potential review of bylaws allowing off-leash dogs on beaches

Focus should have remained on migratory birds, not on dog behaviour, says Cadboro Bay dog walker

No dogs allowed off-leash at Luxton Fairgrounds in Langford

New sign placed by Metchosin Farmers Institute on Wednesday, Feb. 19

North Saanich’s Deep Cove Market up for sale for almost $1.8 million

Long-time owner Rosemary Scott hopes the public will understand her decision

Council approve temporary storage to extend life of Oak Bay Fire Hall

It’s cute, it’s iconic, but the picturesque Oak Bay Fire Hall is… Continue reading

Protecting privacy key to stopping spread of COVID-19, B.C. health officials say

The number of coronavirus cases in B.C. remains at seven

Toffoli scores OT winner as Canucks beat Habs 4-3

Demko makes 37 saves for Vancouver

Private clinics would harm ‘ordinary’ people using public system in B.C.: lawyer

Health Minister Adrian Dix announced in 2018 that the government would begin to fine doctors $10,000

B.C. terminates contract with hospice society refusing assisted death

Delta Hospice Society loses hospital service fund of $1.5 million

Child in hospital following fatal crash that killed father, sibling on B.C. highway

The single vehicle crash occured near Kamloops on Highway 5A

‘Die!’: Vernon councillor mailed death threat

This story contains information that might be sensitive to some readers

Hidden message connects Castlegar homeowners decades apart

The Rodgers family was surprised when a message fell out of the walls as they were renovating

Two B.C. men plead guilty to bus-terminal assault of man with autism in Ontario

Parmvir Chahil and Jaspaul Uppal due to be sentenced in June for aggravated assault

Most Read