South Shuswap residents kick waste collection concept to the curb

Area C residents prefer existing depot system, suggest more enforcement

South Shuswap residents have little desire for hauling their garbage and recycling to the curb for pickup.

Earlier this year, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District initiated a four-month public outreach program to solicit input from Area C residents on the possibility of establishing a curbside garbage and recycling service. Opportunities to provide feedback included an online survey as well as open houses.

According to the CSRD, more than 950 residents completed surveys and 188 residents attended open houses. The results of the information gathered were shared at the Thursday, July 18 CSRD board meeting.

“The primary finding was that mandatory curbside service was not supported by approximately 65 per cent of respondents,” states a CSRD news release. “Many respondents also indicated they are happy with the current depot recycling program offered by the CSRD.”

The CSRD also received a significant number of comments and suggestions, including ways of improving how things are currently done. Area C residents said they would like to see a focus on enforcement, penalizing residents who mix recycling with their garbage.

“It was suggested the CSRD could fine violators or charge higher waste disposal rates for residents who mix recyclable materials in with garbage,” states the CSRD release. “Members of the public also suggested establishing more transfer stations to better serve the area, as well as expanding public education programs to assist residents in Electoral Area C with waste reduction.”

A number of CSRD directors were disappointment with the outcome. Electoral Area C director Paul Demenok noted research shows that up to 80 per cent of the waste being collected at the Skimikin and Scotch Creek transfer stations is recyclable or compostable.

Read more: Curbside waste, recycling collection considered for South Shuswap

Read more: Curbside garbage and recycling possible for South Shuswap

Read more: Columbia Shuswap Regional District protests proposed recycling changes

“There is certainly a lot more that can be done to be better stewards of our environment,” said Demenok, suggesting more public education is needed. He also suggested investigating the potential to work with private-sector operators on developing enhanced options for area residents.

Salmon Arm directors Chad Eliason and Kevin Flynn voted against abandoning curbside collection, noting the positive effects curbside collection programs have had in Salmon Arm.

“We appreciate all of the feedback received from this process carried out to fulfill an objective of the 2015 Solid Waste Management Plan. The CSRD will use the information gathered to help shape future waste reduction programs for Electoral Area C,” commented Ben Van Nostrand, CSRD team leader environmental health.

The CSRD will continue its aim of reducing waste going into the landfill and hope to include some of the suggestions gathered from the public open houses.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

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