Remote communities face big challenges when it comes to environmental protection and accessing public services such as recycling. With the support of Comox Valley Regional District, Ehattesaht First Nation received a grant from the BC Used Oil Management Association that provided the community with a 10-foot modified sea container and a 1,100-litre intermediate tank. The story of the Ehattesaht Nation, Lyle Billy, Stephanie Valdal and Ryan Foster is just one of several collaborations between First Nations and BCUOMA.

Since becoming the first associate member of the Indigenous Zero Waste Technical Advisory Group (IZWTAG) in 2019, BCUOMA has worked with multiple First Nation communities around the province to implement used oil collection systems. We help by assessing community needs, supplying equipment and infrastructure through our grant program, training site operators and connecting the facility to the BCUOMA collection network to ensure materials are recycled.

BCUOMA Collaboration with BC Indigenous Communities

“Over the past year, BC Used Oil Management Association worked with the Ehattesaht First Nation to come up with a sustainable solution for residents of Zeballos to return their used oil and antifreeze materials. We are now excited to announce that a new recycling infrastructure was developed, delivered, and installed in Zeballos that provides a depot close to home for residents to responsibly return their used oil and antifreeze materials,” says David Lawes, CEO of BC Used Oil Management. “Zeballos is a small, remote community that takes great pride in their beautiful West Coast coastal environment. This area is world-famous for its eco-tourism, and this new BCUOMA facility ensures residents and tourists have a safe location to return used oil and antifreeze program materials. We’re proud to say that 98.9 per cent of BC residents currently have reasonable access to used oil recycling locations around the province.”

“We worked with the team at BC Used Oil Management Association to develop a facility that our community members could drop off used oil program materials easily and at no cost. This has been an important initiative for us,” said Ryan Foster, Ehattesaht Operations and Maintenance Manager. “By working with organizations like BC Used Oil Management Association, we can provide more opportunities to divert unwanted or unusable items from our environment.”

“This new recycling infrastructure from BC Used Oil Management Association has provided the Ehattesaht First Nation community with a free and eco-friendly centre to recycle used oil, antifreeze and program containers,” said Lyle Billy, Ehattesaht Band Member. “Our community continues to review opportunities to provide residents with safe and effective waste management options.”

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