GIRO’s request to extend the unused portion of their Regional District of Nanaimo zero waste grant into 2022 has been approved by the RDN board.
Fay Weller and Michelle Kresnyak presented to the RDN board on Sept. 7 with the request and rundown of activities completed in phase one of circular economy initiative, C2C (cradle-to-cradle) Threads, that has in part been funded by the RDN.
The project timeline has been extended mainly due to increased building material costs and a desire to include a “makers space” in the building that will ultimately house the textile repair and repurposing program. Building costs estimates have gone up 300 per cent since the outset of the project. Building costs are covered by the RDN portion as well as $50,000 from Island Coastal Economic Trust.
Since January, GIRO has purchased a washer, dryer and serger to wash and repair clothes for resale and has also applied for funding through Western Economic Diversification to help purchase a $50,000 shredder needed for stuffed applications. Operating a shredding machine would also come with an additional $10,000 cost to install a 200-amp service at the GIRO property.
Three product designs made of repurposed textiles have also been selected by the advisory panel: acoustic paneling, stuffed dog beds and cotton-toweling “un-paper” towels.
Thus far GIRO has spent $31,000 of the $103,044 that the RDN granted to the initiative.
Kresnyak and Weller said part of the vision of the initiative is to expand into other areas of the regional district.
The RDN is continuing its zero waste grants program; $300,000 will be available for 2022. The deadline for organizations to apply is Oct. 11.
Rachelle Stein-Wotten, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Gabriola Sounder