Blacktip Island residents turned out in dozens Thursday to protest plans for a Lowest Depot do-it-yourself superstore slated for the island’s northern tip.
“We have the dump for all our DIY needs,” said protestor Palometa Fischer. “If they build this monstrosity, it’s the beginning of the end. Next we’ll have fast food, a cinema, hell, even a golf course. People move here to get away from those things.”
“It’s part of the island’s charm,” resident Piers Plank said. “I’d rather pick through my neighbours’ leavings than patronize some corporate monolith. If the landfill doesn’t have it, you don’t need it.”
Not all residents agreed.
“I think it’s brilliant,” said newcomer Ginger Bass. “Charm is charm, but not when your freezer dies or you want to build a festive patio out back. Then you need a proper bricolage.”
Lowest Depot spokesperson Sheena Goode belayed the protestors concerns.
“We have no desire to ruin Blacktip Island’s unique character,” Goode said. “We don’t see it as merely selling appliances and building supplies. Our goal is to bring ease and convenience and quality of life to Blacktip Island. At our usual low, low prices, of course.”
Some residents worry the new store will destroy the sense of community the landfill fosters.
“We have no parks or piazzas or any sort of public space here,” Blacktip Haven resort owner Elena Havens said. “The dump is our de facto piazza, where people from all walks of life can gather. It’s a very nurturing place. Losing that would be tragic.”
Other residents echoed Havens’ sentiments.
“Making a dump run is family time,” Olive Beaugregory said. “We let the kids pick out something special for themselves while we hunt for any sundries we might need. Then we break out juice and sandwiches, cheer on the dump chickens and throw rocks at the rats. It’s affordable family fun. No megastore can offer that.”
“We need to reuse, repurpose and recycle the junk we have rather than import more,” Club Scuba Doo’s general manager Polly Parrett said. “Our dive boats are built 100% from parts and pieces salvaged from the landfill. We used to hand craft all our scuba rental gear from repurposed landfill items, too, but that became problematic. Our attorney still won’t return our calls.”
Lowest Depot’s Goode said land clearing for the new store is scheduled to begin Monday.