Do residents of Electoral Area C (South Shuswap) want curbside waste collection in their community?
That’s the question the Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) will be asking citizens in the upcoming year, with the board of directors’ decision to proceed with a public education and outreach program to determine the level of support for the establishment of a residential curbside collection service for garbage and recycling.
Based on feedback from the 2015 Solid Waste Management Plan review, residents of Electoral Area C are interested in exploring the option of a curbside garbage and recycling collection service.
The CSRD is planning a six-month community engagement process to explain the proposed service and gather feedback from citizens. As part of this, the CSRD intends to conduct an online and mail-out survey for residents, hold public information meetings and open houses, and provide information to the public through advertising, the CSRD website and social media. This will begin early in 2019.
The program would only proceed if there is sufficient public support.
The program is proposed to have weekly curbside garbage collection and then unlimited collection of mixed recyclables once every two weeks. It involves each household paying a flat-rate user fee of approximately $150, plus a $3 user-pay system for each week garbage is collected. Bi-weekly recycling pick-up would be at no extra cost to residents.
“The user-pay system is by far the fairest way to administer the fees for curbside garbage services,” says Electoral Area C Director Paul Demenok. “You pay based on your volume of waste. If you’re away, you don’t have to pay for pick-ups. So this service is truly user-based.”
Demenok also notes the user-pay system encourages waste reduction because there is an incentive for people to save money by producing less garbage.
The CSRD would supply refuse containers that track and record when garbage is collected. If there was no waste placed at the curb, there would be no user-fee charged. The cart would fit approximately the contents of two regular-sized garbage bags.
Salmon Arm Coun. Chad Eliason said curbside recycling had been part of his election platform in 2005.
“Thanks to all the work, we’re going to get curbside composting, and CSRD is now a leader in curbside collection,” he said.
Salmon Arm Coun. Kevin Flynn added his enthusiastic support.
“I had to be dragged into this kicking and screaming, but it’s one of the best things we’ve done,” he said. “It’s kind of a motherhood statement, but the people need to know, here’s the costs, are you still in favour?”
CSRD team leader of Environmental Health Ben Van Nostrand called the project an exciting one, with the introduction of scanned bins so seasonal residents will only pay a minimum fee.
That sparked another comment from Flynn.
“The only complaint I’ve heard is when people go away they’re still paying because our costs is embedded in the annual cost,” he said.
Van Nostrand then pointed out that when changes to Salmon Arm’s curbside pick-up program are made in August 2019, blue bags will no longer be able to be used.
“One of the problems is the blue bags get shredded with the (recyclable) material which contaminates it,” he said. “At the curb, you’ll have to use reusable bins.”
Recyclers will still be required to take glass, Styrofoam and certain plastic items to Bill’s Bottle Depot.