Radius Recycling: CVRD Rejects Contentious Zoning Bid

Radius Recycling
Radius RecyclingImage Source: Radius Recycling


The Cowichan Valley Regional District voted against a prolonged re-zoning request by Radius Recycling, previously Schnitzer Steel, for operating a metal recycling plant near Nanaimo Airport. Directors emphasized protecting the aquifer and environmental concerns. Despite divided opinions, the decision highlighted the unified goal of safeguarding the region's natural resources.


In a significant decision, the Cowichan Valley Regional District directors voted against Radius Recycling's re-zoning plea to continue metal recycling operations near the Nanaimo Airport, a proposal that had been deliberated for over seven years.

During a recent regular board meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 13, the directors collectively rejected the re-zoning request, incorporating stipulations for updating the business's environmental management plan and conducting an in-depth environmental impact assessment to safeguard the aquifer. These recommendations stemmed from the electoral area services committee's prior discussions.

Several directors, including Ben Maartman of North Oyster-Diamond, emphasized the imperative need to shield the aquifer. Maartman articulated, "Protecting our valleys and pristine lakes, both visible and hidden beneath the ground, should guide our decisions."

Sierra Acton, Jesse McClinton, Hilary Abbott, and Mike Wilson, among others, echoed Maartman's sentiment, emphasizing the uncertainty surrounding the site's future and the unanimous commitment to preserve the aquifer.

Despite varying perspectives, the board unanimously voted against the re-zoning application. Maartman further proposed completely denying the re-zoning bid, which garnered majority approval, except for one dissenting vote by Ian Morrison.

Responding to the decision, Tony Belot, a public affairs manager at Radius, highlighted the company's commitment to community dialogue and pursuit of collaborative solutions in line with community benefits.


The CVRD's decisive rejection of Radius Recycling's long-pending re-zoning plea reflects a collective endeavor to prioritize environmental preservation over industrial pursuits. The unanimous vote underscores the shared commitment to safeguarding the aquifer and protecting the region's natural resources.

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