The metal bin drop-off by Saseenos Elementary on Monday. The pile has since been cleaned up.

UPDATED: Scrap metal pile gets cleaned up

A metal scrap pile in front of Saseenos Elementary has been cleaned up after a quick effort by the Sooke community.

A metal scrap pile in front of Saseenos Elementary has been cleaned up after a quick effort by the Sooke community.

Since the Saseenos Parents Advisory Committee organized the metal scrap bin in front of the school, people have dropped off hundreds of items, from lawn mowers, to fridges, to washing machines, bicycles and old TVs.

Given the local generosity, the pile grew bigger, and bigger, especially during the weekend after it reached for the sky and started overflowing around the metal bin.

It wasn’t until Monday, when the District of Sooke, along with the Sooke School District and owners of the metal bin, Mallahat Scrap Metal, worked together to tidy everything.

“It’s a positive outcome for the town, and it’s nice to see we can work together to get this cleaned up,” said Coun. Rick Kasper, who added there has been several trucks in the last 24 hours picking up full containers and dropping off empty ones in regular rotation.

Getting the pile removed was tricky though, as no one had the intention of disrupting the fundraising efforts, noted District of Sooke chief administrative officer Teresa Sullivan, adding that the district needs to be mindful on how it handles the situation.

“We have to be sensitive here because it is a fundraiser for schools and we don’t want to discourage that, but at the same time, this is the entrance to our beautiful little town, and it doesn’t bode well,” she said.

Sullivan hopes that, going forward, the district will work with the PAC to find a more suitable location for the bin so such a pile doesn’t happen again.

At the end of the day, the fundraiser’s intention was positive, with a successful outcome, noted Sooke School District Board chair Bob Phillips.

“They’re parents, they really care about their kids, the traditional stuff used to be hot dogs, but now it seems to be metal,” he said.

The resulting cleanup did shut down the fundraiser, said Saseenos PAC president Tara Kenmare, adding that the Sooke School District pulled their permits to use the school parking lot.

“We’re such a hardworking PAC and we’ve had people there just about every day cleaning the parking lot,” Kenmare said, adding that the PAC group had no choice but to clean it up right away.