The owner of P&M Recycling is underwhelmed by a decision by city councillors to give him a two-month reprieve from an order to shut down one of his two warehouses.
“Big deal,” said Pat McInroy, who has run the company for 17 years. “How can it possibly help me?”
McInroy has been ordered to close his warehouse on Sixth Avenue, where he stores and ships cardboard. Closing the building would be a big loss, he said, and he’s uncertain about how it will affect his business going forward.
The City has ordered McInroy to shut his warehouse down for a number of reasons.
The building, located on Sixth Avenue, is in a mixed-use residential and commercial zone. Recycling activities aren’t allowed there, city officials say.
Moreover, the fire prevention officer has expressed concerns about the building’s inadequate sprinkler system, as well as an outdoor storage area, which is in close proximity to overhead powerlines.
A nearby resident, Chris Isaak, has also complained about noise and dust from traffic in the area.
The other P&M building on Ray Street, where plastics are stockpiled and processed, is allowed to operate because it’s been grandfathered in.
But last week Pat Ross, manager of planning and building services with the City, said a fire in the building would require the evacuation of a large portion of downtown. A potential land swap between P&M and the City has been proposed, but finding both suitable land and a building would be difficult, Ross added.
Last November, the City issued an order stating McInroy had two months to shut down his Sixth Avenue warehouse and remove its materials.
McInroy appealed the decision and applied to amend the City’s Official Community Plan so the lot could be designated industrial instead.
At Monday evening’s meeting, members of council were supposed to vote on whether or not they wanted to continue the amendment process.
They decided they did not want to change the community plan.
Councillor Dan Boyd made a suggestion designed to give McInroy a bit more breathing room. He proposed that council drop the process and give McInroy an extra 60 working days to respect the City’s order.
“We’re in the middle of a process to see if we can create a curbside recycling program,” Boyd said. “And that’s a recycling program. I know recyclers in town will be interested in participating in that.
“I’d like to see that process come to a natural conclusion and see what the outcomes of that are.”
But the extension makes little difference to McInroy, he said.
He’s been using the building for the same purposes since 2012 and doesn’t understand why the City would want to shut the warehouse down now.
He’s also spoken to Isaak on a number of occasions, he added, and believed they could work out their issues.
“I’ve always said we could mitigate what the problems were,” McInroy said.
“‘Were’ is the key word because we’re not nearly as busy as we were when Raven shut down (its public drop off). I have no problem with what they (Raven) did, but I stepped up and took the brunt of it for a very long time.
“Hindsight being 20/20 I should have said no, forget it, I’m done.”
McInroy said he doesn’t believe the outcome of the City’s blue bin program is likely to help him resolve his warehouse issue, since it’s unlikely the City could get the program up and running in the next 60 days, he added.
Contact Myles Dolphin at