Gibsons Recycling Depot is launching phase one of a curbside collection program for recyclables in Gibsons announced owners Buddy Boyd and Barb Hetherington. GRD will use two electrically powered Ford Transit mini-cube vans. With this new service, Gibsons could be the first subscribed curbside collection of recyclables in Canada, if not in North America, using electrically-powered vehicles (EVs), non- dependent upon taxes.
Recognizing that 95 percent of all vehicle trips are 30 kilometres or less, Gibsons Recycling Depot realized that by building efficient pick up routes that feed into the GRD centralized hub and using electric vehicles for delivery, they could not only offer recycling solutions but reduce emissions and wear and tear on the roads from larger vehicles.
This new collection system is intended to complement their current levels of service. The service is aimed at those citizens who either have no vehicle, are infirm or otherwise incapable of visiting their depot, or do not have the available time to do so.
"This new service will not be funded by regional or Town taxes, but by subscription," says Hetherington, "Thereby following the adage of “User Pay” or “Pay As You Throw”." The modest subscription fee will approximate the individual's costs involved in visiting the depot under the current model.
"The pay as you throw model means that there are no new taxes and individuals are paying for their own stuff. Patrons can order pick up when they need it . We still strongly promote the message that we all need to REDUCE the materials we bring into our lives and the materials we discard."
GRD says this new service harkens back to the days of the friendly milkman picking up washed milk bottles at the door. The milkman was a part of the community connection for many. The GRD employee picking up recycling can build that same community connection as well as being a one to one environmental educator teaching zero waste actions and behaviours.
Boyd and Hetherington hope the combined effect of both the phasing and the subscription model will allow them to expand as the awareness of the citizenry grows and creates demand. This should avoid any pauses in the customers adapting to the new service.
Several businesses and institutions are collaborating within this program, including Greenomics, Community Futures, The Gibsons Copy Shop, Cypress Power, and Vital Signs – all local businesses. One example is their partnering with Cypress Power to have two electric charging stations at their depot open to the public.
"Not only will we be able to continue our education programs and actions about ZERO WASTE but with our community team of collaborators offer more opportunities for building sustainable communities through research, education and local actions," said Hetherington.