While everyone in Sooke has been arguing about the proposed new carwash and laundromat (which I think is a great idea, by the way), something much more serious is going on with a long-time local business. The Sooke Disposal drop-off yard, located between Edward Milne School and Fred Milne park is closing. As of September 30th, Butler Brothers Concrete, which owns the land, is reclaiming it for their own use and Sooke Disposal will have to move off the land.
As you can imagine, it can’t be easy to find land appropriately zoned and well-located for an operation like the one that has been running there, but I was told when I dropped off my garbage earlier this week that they are trying their best.
This is a huge problem. Many Sooke residents, myself included, don’t pay for residential garbage pickup, but instead opt to recycle and compost as much as possible and then bring their small amount of garbage to the drop-off for the small fee of $3 per bag or can. Many of Sooke’s contractors and landscaping companies drop off their waste for an affordable fee. Without the drop-off, our only option will be the Alpine yard in Langford, or taking the waste directly to Hartland.
Or, people will just dump their waste in the bush. Rural dumping is and always has been a problem on Vancouver Island, and I suspect without a convenient and affordable way to do so, the less-than-environmentally-friendly members of our society will simply drive to a secluded spot in the rural areas of Sooke and get rid of what they have. Even worse – Sooke Disposal accepted many hazardous materials like used car batteries, old paint and propane tanks – for free. I certainly don’t want to have chemicals and other hazardous waste leaching into the soil and potentially the groundwater.
Hopefully – Sooke Disposal will find another location and get set up as soon as possible. I urge you to put pressure on Mayor Milne and Council to work with Sooke Disposal as much as possible to get them a new home. The District owns a good bit of industrial property across from Sasseenos Elementary which may be able to be used, while also generating more revenue for the municipality.
What do you think? Will Sooke Disposal closing affect you and your family?