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City reinstates yard waste collection program

The city is bringing back curbside collection of yard waste this fall.

Last week, council gave three readings to a bylaw that will provide collection of yard waste materials twice a year from residents that are part of the existing curbside collection program.

Allowable yard waste includes grass and hedge clippings, sod, flowers, weeds, leaves and shrubs, as well as shrub and tree branches less than one inch in diameter, bundled in lengths of up to three feet. Not allowed are plants classified as “invasive species,” as identified by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Organic yard waste (apart from stick bundles), will need to be placed in compostable paper bags for curbside collection. Filled bags must not exceed 44 pounds. There’s no limit to the number bags that can be put out on collection day.

A staff memo to council notes how some residents have been including yard waste in their garbage bags, which is prohibited, or are burning it, “suggesting that it is either too costly or too inconvenient to self-haul” to the designated landfill site or compost at home.

The inclusion of bi-annual yard waste collection will cost the city $25,000, to be funded through the curbside collection reserve.

Coun. Chad Eliason applauded the move, calling it a first step toward full-scale organics curbside collection.

“The last thing we want up here is to try and find a new garbage dump or landfill or waste disposal site,” said Eliason. “But we need to think longer term, we need to think bigger picture and we need to think about what’s right for the community and residents.

“I think that is curbside organic collection, like they do in many other places, so we can get our waste stream down as low as possible and be leaders in the CSRD on this.”

Coun. Ken Jamieson was also supportive, noting the city had provided curbside collection of yard waste once a year, but the program was cut.

“This is twice a year, so that’s a good thing,” said Jamieson.

City public works and engineering director Rob Niewenhuizen said there would only be one pick-up this year, coinciding with the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s free residential organic yard waste drop-off days at the landfill, Oct. 11 to Nov. 23.

The details of the city’s program have not yet been finalized.

 

 

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