The announcement by Buddy Boyd and Barbara Hetherington of Gibsons Recycling Depot to discontinue their business at the end of their contract is a huge loss for the Sunshine Coast. GRD has been a positive example of what can be accomplished by determination, innovation and plain hard work. Their decision is not unexpected. Rather the question is what took them so long? Their journey to Zero Waste has been steady and determined.
Buddy and Barb have filled the gap in the waste management process that the SCRD should have been doing. Moving to Zero Waste. While the SCRD has touted Going Zero, they have actually worked against it in many ways. It was GRD that bought a styrofoam recycling machine, purchased an electric van to collect recycling, opened a Reuse Store, took in electronics and hard to recycle items, encouraged composting and implemented an education program on Zero Waste.
When the SCRD started up a committee to discuss Zero Waste and a possible Resource Recovery Centre in Pender Harbour, it was GRD and a group of private citizens who brought consultant and ZW International president Richard Anthony to the coast for a forum in 2010. Frankly, if the SCRD would have followed his plan and the recommendation of their own citizen advisory committee, we would more than likely be close to ZW with a shining example of a Resource Recovery Centre in Pender Harbour. Instead they gave the community a transfer station.
Recognized by locals and internationally and by the BC Lt. Governor no less for their recycling and recovery efforts, it seems they have always had to fight for respect from the local governments.
And while the SCRD struggles to meet ZW goals, Buddy and Barb have moved on. They are directors of Zero Waste Canada and will be going on an education tour they are calling Bolt Across Canada this summer. There are many people out there who are open to the possibilities of Zero Waste and saving our planet who will welcome them with open arms.