OCTOBER 28, 2015 09:55 AM
Richmond sends 500 houses a year to the dump. That is 20 per cent of the demolition permit activity in Metro Vancouver and translates into 70,000 tons of trash in the Vancouver Landfill.
The situation is not sustainable, so on Oct. 26, Richmond City Council voted unanimously to support a Management of Waste and Recyclables Materials from Demolition Activities bylaw.
The goal is to recycle 70 per cent of the materials from demolished homes, with higher goals to be set later as the capabilities of recyclers increase.
This new direction by council has been supported by Richmond’s Small Business Group, and I applaud that.
Going further, I suggest that this new direction can become an opportunity for entrepreneurs to cash in. Salvagers could offer builders a demolition sale service and they could also provide security for the site. By residing at the address for a month or so in a recreational vehicle, the salvagers could sell many valuable items from the property such as fences, furnaces, hot water tanks, appliances, kitchen and bathroom cabinets, doors, bricks, windows, hardware, railings, copper, insulation, wood, siding, carpets, other flooring and plants.
In the past, I have sold many of these items myself and made a profit that has offset the cost of my own renovations, so I can see how the approach can be viable. The more items that can be sold results in even less for the builders to recycle.
I have also learned, as a business owner for almost 40 years, that the key to a successful business is simple: find a need and fill it.
The time has come to better fill the need for recycling and reusing. I hope that council’s decision will lead to a new perspective and change our view of older houses from garbage to treasures.
Coun. Carol Day