More than 98% of old Lethbridge YMCA building has been recycled

Click to play video: 'YMCA of Lethbridge hits historic membership numbers'
YMCA of Lethbridge hits historic membership numbers
It's been a little more than three weeks since the new Cor Van Raay YMCA opened its doors to the public. The facility, which is North America's third-largest YMCA, has not only seen a high volume of visitors, it's more than doubled its membership – May 27, 2019

Nearly one year after the former YMCA building was torn down, the City of Lethbridge has announced that 98.01 per cent of it has been recycled.

A new report shows the vast majority of the 60-year-old structure was diverted from the landfill through the city’s environmental deconstruction program.

“The facilities department at the city has been at this since around 2006, so achieving an above 90 per cent waste diversion on all our demo projects is pretty much the standard now,” said Dean Romeril, property manager in facility services.

“Hitting 98 per cent on this project is exceptional and is a great example of how deconstructions can be seen in a positive light.”

Read more: Cor Van Raay YMCA at ATB Centre in Lethbridge opens its doors to the public

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Romeril said this project is the highest success the department has had so far, as knowledge of the waste diversion process has grown.

“We cut our teeth on the Bridge Inn Hotel, which was the first structure we did, and we achieved 55.4 per cent on that,” he said. “(Contractors) are finding more wide-range use for elements and materials.”

Some of the salvaged materials include pool pumps and boilers, a wheelchair ramp and lift repurposed by the Town of Coaldale, interior and exterior light fixtures, bathroom faucets, windows and doors as well as basketball nets and backboards that were donated to staff.

All lockers were sold to businesses and individuals, and a local collector now possesses hot tub signage.

Click to play video: 'Construction of new Lethbridge Fire Station on schedule and budget'
Construction of new Lethbridge Fire Station on schedule and budget

“Lethbridge is kind of championing this on a municipal-level basis,” Romeril said of the waste diversion. “Throughout Western Canada, we’re probably one of the leaders in it.

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“We received phone calls from Vancouver to Winnipeg on interest in how we were proceeding with this.”

Romeril said mixed waste and roofing were not able to be reused or recycled.

The property at 515 Stafford Drive S. now sits empty, ready for use as a new public outdoor space. The site was vacated in 2019 when the Cor Van Raay YMCA at ATB Centre opened in west Lethbridge.

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