Comox Strathcona Waste Management has opened an ocean debris recycling depot in partnership with the Ocean Legacy Foundation at the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre, 3699 Bevan Rd. in Cumberland. This depot will accept materials from shoreline cleanup efforts and legacy equipment from the marine sector, providing essential infrastructure to divert plastic resources from the landfill and reduce oceanic pollution.
Accepted materials include abandoned, lost or discarded fishing gear, marine debris and legacy equipment including some netting and rope, polystyrene foam (Styrofoam), hard plastic and select buoys. Advance notice is required to drop off ocean debris as all materials need to be sorted in advance. For more information and to sign up to use the depot, contact Alys Hoyland at email@example.com.
“Ocean Legacy is excited to launch this opportunity with CSWM to reduce the pollution in our coastal communities and protect our precious marine environments,” said Chloé Dubois, executive director of Ocean Legacy Foundation. “This development will allow us to capture plastic wastes, divert them from landfill and responsibly recycle items to not only support innovative technologies but further implement pragmatic solutions to grow the Canadian plastic circular economy.”
Stephanie Valdal, CSWM services co-ordinator, described the importance of the new service for coastal communities in the region.
“A large portion of our service area is coastal and our residents experience materials that wash ashore annually,” she said. “To be able to recycle this material is a great opportunity for our service and the environment. The CSWM is thrilled to be working with Ocean Legacy Foundation on this project and we are happy to offer this as a new service.”
“We applaud Ocean Legacy and CSWM for launching this service to handle marine debris,” said Liz Johnston of the Association for Denman Island Marine Stewards. “This will be a positive step to address and handle the serious marine plastic problem in Baynes Sound and surrounding waters.”
Marine debris collected at the depot will be sent to the Ocean Legacy processing centre at Steveston Harbour, where it will be further sorted, cleaned and recycled. This will be the third depot of its kind on Vancouver Island, with others located at Powell River in the qathet Regional District and Ucluelet in the Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District. This ocean debris diversion program is made possible through funding from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and Tourism Vancouver Island, and forms part of Ocean Legacy Foundation’s national strategy to address marine plastic pollution by creating end-of-life solutions for marine debris and developing a circular economy for plastics.