It was Feb. 20, 1989 when the Capital Regional District’s blue box recycling program rolled out in Gordon Head.
The Saanich neighbourhood provided a two-week testing ground for the CRD to “iron out any initial problems” before launching region-wide on March 6, according to the Gordon Head/Saanich News.
At the time, blue boxes were delivered to some 55,000 homes in Saanich, Victoria, Oak Bay and Esquimalt. The decision to keep newspaper, glass, aluminum and tin out of Hartland landfill was expected to divert some 8,500 tonnes annually from being dumped.
The News article quotes then-Saanich alderman Frank Leonard, who was chairing the CRD’s environment committee, as saying the CRD’s recycling goal was “too modest,” and he wanted to see 20 per cent of the region’s garbage diverted.
Since February 1989 the CRD’s blue box program has expanded, and now serves 113,000 homes in the region. The types of material that can be recycled at the curb has also increased.
The most recent numbers from the CRD says 18,735 tonnes were diverted from the landfill in 2012 thanks to the blue box program.
Saanich is now preparing to launch another recycling program in April, this time to divert kitchen waste from Hartland. The municipality estimates 8,000 tonnes of organics will annually avoid the dump.
The CRD will implement an outright ban on depositing organic material at Hartland beginning in 2015. They estimate 30 per cent of the waste at the landfill is organics.
In other news this week…
• 1993 – Resident group Citizens for Sensible Parkland argued that Saanich is unfairly distributing parkland in the municipality. Members complained Saanich wasn’t developing the land quick enough to be used by the public.
• 1996 – Saanich council unanimously rejected a request to close off the Hamsterly Road access to the Pat Bay Highway. The request, which came in the form of a letter from a resident, said the intersection poses a risk to road users, citing “numerous accidents”.
• 1998 – Famous Players submitted plans to Saanich planning to build a 5,580-square-metre multiplex theatre at Tillicum Centre – now known as Cineplex SilverCity Victoria. The site selected was previously home to a drive-in theatre, before the mall was built in the early 1980s.