Letter: I'm appalled at New West's handling of the recycling depot closure

Editor:

Re: New Westminster to close its recycling depot in 2020, Record, May 14
I’m writing to you for the first time because I find myself wanting to make everyone aware of the seemingly hidden facts about the new pool and the displacement of the recycling depot.  

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Only when I went to the open house that was held in Queens Park on Easter Sunday did I “discover” the facts about our depot. A very nice drawing of what is being built to “replace” our depot was on display, but only when you ask where it’s being built do you get the response of, “on the other side of the bailey bridge.” 

To which I said, “That’s in Coquitlam.” Yes, our depot is being replaced with the depot the Tri-Cities are building for themselves to accommodate their three cities. And so we, New Westminster, hopped on board and added our citizens to the tens of thousands already wondering how busy this new depot is going to be.  

The selling point our city was making is that we, who live in New Westminster, are closer than all the people in the Tri-Cities, who are paying for the bulk of its construction. So we get to save a few thousand here and there, but what we’re losing is so much more - nevermind the absolute nightmare the traffic will be trying to use the new depot, commuters trying to get to the bridge and the passing trains creating a headache for anyone wanting to do a quick drop off of recycling.
The recycling depot, as it sits, is the most central location it could be with easy access.
Prior to the depot being there, we had a real problem with people dumping their debris wherever they could get away with it. Particularly in the ravine - the road goes right by it and with only a short fence, it was a dumping ground for the less caring and downright lazy.  

I would hate to see us return to those days, but human nature, as always, tends to do the shortcuts, whether that’s sweeping debris under a tree, in the park or down the ravine. We, as a city, (could) end up spending more on cleaning up these messes than we would/could save by closing our depot.  
I say we leave it where it is and have fewer parking stalls. That is all that’s going to be there when it’s done and dusted.  

Aesthetics may be driving this because who wants a dump in front of the new pool.

I’m appalled at the way this has been handled - never a mention of the recycling depot in all the surveys that I filled out.  

I certainly understand the need to replace the old pool with a new one that, on the surface, looks great, but where was the conversation about the depot?  

No one mentioned this during the last election, but I’m pretty sure it will be in the next.
I’ve lived in New Westminster all my life, seen lots of changes, but this one makes no sense.
Ken Wrights, New Westminster

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