Nelson councillor Janice Morrison says the Pacific Insight building could be turned into a regional “state of the art eco-depot.”
It could house the hazardous materials recycling facility planned by the Nelson Leafs and the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK), along with the Leafs’ other recycling efforts, the EcoSave program, repair services, and recycling for re-usable building materials and electronics.
Automotive electronics manufacturer Pacific Insight will end all production at its facility outside Nelson by the end of April.
Morrison said the facility could be an education centre about all aspects of recycling, reusing, and reducing.
“This is a bit pie-in-the-sky, I admit,” she told the Star after briefly floating the idea at a council meeting last week. “But there is potential for so much.”
At the time, council was discussing where the Leafs’ hazardous waste depot could be permanently located. Council decided last week that it can be temporarily housed at the current depot, but not permanently because its industrial nature does not fit the residential and small-commercial zoning for the Railtown neighourhood.
Morrison says she has not researched the details or talked to the owners of the Insight building but wants to put the idea out there.
She said the proximity to the Grohman transfer station would be ideal.
“To me it is about the streamlining of it, the one-stop shop conveniently right off the highway right next to where they may be dropping off their household waste.”
She said it would also allow truck access for companies picking up recycled material.
Morrison cited a mall in Sweden that is a centre for recycled and used goods of all kinds.
Who would own the building? Morrison said it could be a public-private partnership including the Leafs, with oversight by the regional district.
“Together we have the ability to look at partnerships and grants. It would be too big of an ask for taxpayers to own it,” she said.