The City of Salmon Arm is cleaning up its curbside collection bylaw with a focus on residents’ responsibilities.
At its Aug. 22 meeting, city council gave three readings to a curbside collection amendment bylaw. Described as “housekeeping amendments,” the changes are intended to better enable the city to “enforce the accepted and prohibited materials and, in the case of contravention, the ability to impose fines” listed in municipal ticket information bylaw 2760.
The amendments focus specifically on the “duties of owners and occupiers,” and address container types and maintenance, acceptable contents for each waste stream, the placement of containers at the curb and on the property, the times of day containers are placed at the curb and removed and the clean up of spillage.
In July, the city shared a couple of posts on its Facebook page reminding residents what is and isn’t accepted in the curbside collection program. One post focused on the proper disposal of broken glass and other sharp objects. Glass is not accepted in the curbside recycling program. For broken glass, the city advised placing it in a cardboard box, taping it shut and labelling the box “broken glass” or “sharp objects.” The box can go in your garbage can separately or beside the can at the curb.
The purpose of the bylaw amendments said city engineering assistant John Mills in a report to council, is to ensure only accepted materials are being deposited in food waste, yard waste and recycling containers, and that only clean recycling materials are going into recycling bins, and that residents are not putting prohibited materials into their garbage bags.
Asked about enforcement, city engineering and public works director Rob Niewenhuizen said, the curbside collectors monitor the bags/bins, and if things are not done properly they will provide warnings, typically left on the uncollected bags/items.
“If things are not done properly they will provide warnings on the bags – If they’re too heavy, if they’re not properly stowed, the same thing goes for the recycling collection. And we also get reports,” said Niewenhuizen, adding the prioritizes education over enforcement.
Asked about fines, which are not new, Niewenhuizen said “I don’t believe that we’ve issued many fines, maybe one or two each year. Nothing has really changed on this – it’s just an update.”
A separate but related bylaw to amend the city’s ticket information utilization bylaw includes 17 infractions for which $150 fines may be issued. The include: prohibited deposit of materials in the respective food waste, recyclables, yard waste containers or collection bags; failure to securely tie refuse bags; containers or collection bags set out for collection over allowable weight limits; failure to clean up spillage from containers or collection bags; placing bags/containers out for pick up prior to day of collection; placing bags/containers out for pick up prior to 5:30 a.m. on day of collection; failure to maintain containers in clean, sanitary condition; failure to securely close food waste containers and yard waste bags; deposit of unclean recyclables; failure to use a refuse container or extra food waste container to discourage scavenging by wildlife, when directed to use a container; failing to remove containers within a twelve-hour period following collection.
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