The side of a building with windows marked 'glass,' 'plastic,' and Paper/cardboard,'

New waste management centre boss eyes busy summer season with concern

By Greg Osoba, CKTZ News, through an LJI grant from Canada-info.ca

The Cortes Island Waste Management Centre is preparing for a busy summer and the organization’s new manager is worried about capacity.

Waste Management Centre manager Aaron McCulloch-Gary—who has been at the helm since the start of 2023 after taking over from long serving manager Brian Pfeifle—says everything is running smoothly at the moment, but he has serious concerns about the upcoming summer season, when the Cortes Island population triples beyond its 1,000 year-round residents.

Cortes Island Waste Management Centre manager Aaron McCulloch-Gary. Photo by Greg Osoba.

He’s especially concerned about trucks accessing and leaving the island to deal with solid waste. McCulloch-Gary says they’re an essential service and should receive priority loading on both the Cortes and Quadra Island ferries, adding that there are serious consequences if those trucks are delayed at ferry terminals and don’t make it to or off Cortes Island in a timely manner.

The centre handles anything deemed recyclable by provincially mandated Recycle BC. It also serves as a transfer station for all solid waste, as there is no landfill on the island. Bins for the transfer need to be transported and removed by trucks.

The facility is open Thursdays through Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. A free store, where the public can drop off reusable items and shop for them at no charge, also operates on the property.

Top photo credit: Cortes Island Waste Management Centre recycling intake windows. Photo by Greg Osoba