Councillor investigating curbside waste collection program for Sicamous

The District of Sicamous is once again looking into the option of curbside garbage and recycling collection

The District of Sicamous is once again looking into the option of curbside garbage and recycling collection.

In January, municipal council heard from Columbia Shuswap Regional District operations manager Darcy Mooney and environmental service leader Ben Van Nostrand regarding recycling in the region.

During that presentation, council raised concerns with the current set up for the collection of recyclables on Main Street, with Mayor Terry Rysz stating he would like to see the bins removed without question. This led to discussion about a past effort to bring a curbside garbage and recyclable collection program to the community, why it was turned down, and what’s transpired since, including the inception of Multi-Materials B.C., which has taken over the collection of recyclables, resulting in the cost of related programs being shifted from the taxpayer to industry.

At its Feb. 25, meeting, council received a letter from resident Amy Boutwell. In it, she asks if the district considers a curbside program, it should look at a per-bag fee structure, as opposed to a weekly/monthly rate.

“Sicamous has many seasonal residents. There are also may single-person households who do not require weekly collections,” writes Boutwell. “A weekly/monthly collection fee might be a hardship to those on fixed incomes who do not need regular pick-ups; but, would be willing to pay for services rendered.”

Coun. Jeff Mallmes, who leads the public works portfolio, said he’s begun looking into a curbside program for Sicamous for a few reasons, one of them being the Main Street bins, where illegal dumping is known to occur.

Mallmes notes MMBC provides a refund to the City of Salmon Arm for overseeing a curbside program. That program includes the collection of one bag of garbage a week (tags are available for additional bags at $2 a piece), and unlimited recyclables every second week.

“I haven’t got the numbers yet. I’m trying to set up a meeting with them and the company that’s doing the work. But early indications are that, let’s just say you pay a dollar a week to have your garbage bag picked up, and it’s one bag…,” said Mallmes, later explaining a partnership with Salmon Arm could benefit both communities and the contractor involved.

 

“That’s what I’m hoping to accomplish, is getting us garbage pickup,” stated Mallmes. “The numbers may vary slightly and may get better slightly because the company that’s picking up the garbage in Salmon Arm is working 3.5 days… If they actually picked up Sicamous’ garbage, they’d have a full five-day week, which would be to their advantage, Salmon Arm’s advantage and our advantage.”