Volunteers Tackle Backwoods Mess for Community clean up!
This weekend marks the kick off to Community Clean-Up Month-- and to mark the occasion a crew of enthusiastic volunteers will head to a popular recreation corridor to clean up garbage-- left behind by a careless few. And they’re challenging you to do the same—to take even a small portion of your day to do a clean-up in your own neighborhood.
The clean-up kickoff event is an annual one, organized in a new locale each year by the Regional District Waste Reduction office. Every spring it offers bags and gloves for clean ups, plus will pick up the garbage you collect when you’re done with your cleanup project.
Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart says Community Clean Up has been held every April for over 20 years, and is used to highlight the problem of illegal dumping plus act as a springboard for positive clean up initiatives for groups or individuals. ”The clean- up planned for this weekend will tackle a lot of debris that should not be there in the first place, even a few burned out camper trailers. We’ll be putting out a lot of elbow grease to leave the great outdoors the way it should be, pristine. And sending a message to those who dump and litter, that it’s not ok.”
Stewart adds, “Over the years, literally thousands of residents have participated in Community Clean ups in our Region, logging thousands of volunteer hours-everyone from school and church groups, to Brownies, Cubs, service organizations, businesses, families, co-workers, and friends. It’s a remarkable outpouring of community pride and spirit!”
The Saturday morning clean-up blitz will target Bartley Road in West Kelowna, near the trail head to the McDougall Rim Forestry Trails, a popular area for local recreationists. Saturday’s cleanup crew will consist of a number of different groups and organizations, including over 50 volunteers from Shaw, a handful of residents from the area, as well as dozens of members on the newly formed Okanagan Forestry Task Force who have come to specialize in backwoods clean-up efforts. Dumpster services for the day are being provided free of charge by “The Dump Truck Disposal” and ABC Recycling is assisting with metal recycling of some burned out hulks left behind in the bush.
Shaw Spokesperson Brittany Preston says, “As a company, we wanted to give back to the community that supports us, while making a positive impact on the environment. We pride ourselves on building meaningful relationships within the communities that we support and teaming up with the RDCO for this community clean-up is one exciting way that we’d like to give back. The Shaw Team finds the rewards from volunteering for an initiative like this tremendous. Our local Community Investment Team identifies opportunities for Shaw volunteers to engage with their communities and this clean-up will be a great way to kick off 2017!”
Groups already signed up for clean- up initiatives in the month ahead include: Inter Mountain Enterprises, Uptown Rutland Assocation, Northwestside Road Community Association, District of Lake Country and City of West Kelowna, and the Oyama Community Club.
To arrange your own 20 Minute Make Over or Community Clean Up event, get free litter bags and gloves, and arrange to have the garbage you collect picked up when you’re done; contact the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you wish to report illegal dumping on the RDCO website visit www.regionaldistrict.com/reportillegaldumping.
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Last Week to get a composter deal!
Here’s your chance to cut your garbage in half, be extra nice to your garden – and save money. For one more week you can pre order a backyard composter, food digester, or worm cycler-- at a reduced rate!
Until Friday March 31st, the Regional Waste Reduction Office is offering subsidized backyard composters for $35 (tax included), a big savings from the regular $80 retail price. Green Cone food digesters ($99) and worm cyclers ($80) are also available. (A limited supply of Rain barrels for sale at $75 have since sold out!)
Rae Stewart with the Regional Waste Reduction Office says backyard composting is easy, fun, and an inexpensive way to create your very own soil enhancer. “All you need is greens (nitrogen based materials, veggie or fruit scraps), browns (carbon-dry leaves or grass, even shredded newspaper), air, a little water, and eventually you get compost by letting it rot and virtually without lifting a finger. If you want to work at it a little more, you can make your own compost in a few short months!”
Stewart adds one third to one half of household waste is easily compostable. “If you recycle and compost you could be putting as little as one or two grocery bags worth of garbage out for collection a week, which equals far less waste heading to our landfill. And by adding nutrient rich compost to your garden, your soil comes alive – creating more robust plants, flowers, fruits and veggies that also require less water. Add it to your lawn for the same effect!”
Stewart says offering three varieties of composter’s increases waste reduction options for residents. “The food digester is the perfect alternative to the backyard composter if you don’t need finished compost and you’re looking for something really low maintenance. Its hassle free, can even handle pet waste, and takes all types of food waste, including fruit and vegetable scraps, cooked and uncooked meat, fish, bones and dairy products, rice, bread and pasta! The worm cycler is an ideal alternative for condo and apartment dwellers that don’t have the space for a backyard composter.”
For details on the composter sale, to place your order, view your payment options, including online, or find out more about which model is best for you, visit http://www.regionaldistrict.com/compostersale or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250.469.6250.
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March 1st - Yard Waste Pickup Back
Gardening may be far from your mind with all the snow still covering the ground, but nevertheless, yard waste collection is back on! The first pickup of the season is also a great opportunity for anyone who may have stockpiled leaves and garden pruning’s’ from last fall to get them into the yard waste bin and out to the curb for disposal.
Starting next Wednesday, March 1st all residents on municipal curbside garbage collection will benefit from yard waste pick up every two weeks until the end of November.
Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart says, “All the yard waste collected curbside is then composted, and used again as a valuable soil enhancer--so it’s important to keep it free of any plastic, garbage or other foreign matter.” Stewart adds last year alone the program collected over 15,000 tonnes of yard waste at the curb and turned it into high quality compost instead of it being buried at the landfill.
You’re reminded to put your yard waste out for collection by 7 am on the morning of your regular garbage day. Please make sure the lid is closed, and that you don’t put any garbage, plastic bags, rocks, sod, flower pots, landscape cloth, or kitchen scraps into the yard waste cart.
Accepted items include:
- Leaves, needles
- Wood chips, bark
- Garden plants
- Fruit droppings
- Grass clippings
- Branches and pruning’s up to 5 centimetres (2 inches) in diameter and less than one metre (3 feet) in length
Up to two additional 360 litre yard waste carts can be purchased from your municipality. For additional yard waste carts and collection options, contact your municipality or follow the links at regionaldistrict.com/recycle.
To determine your yard waste collection week, please refer to the Living Greener Calendar at regionaldistrict.com/recycle, or download the convenient free app at regionaldistrict.com/mywasteapp. This gives you the information of the Living Greener Calendar in the palm of your hand!
If you are interested in purchasing the finished compost GlenGrow from the Glenmore landfill please, visit Okanagancompost.ca or call 250-469-8868.
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Older News Releases
Heavy Snowfall May Result In Curbside Collection Delays
Winter snow, ice and cold can create challenges at the best of times. The Regional Waste Reduction Office would like to remind you during these heavy snow fall conditions, your garbage and recycling collection may be delayed. Your waste hauler, OK Environmental Waste Systems is doing its’ best to ensure regular collection schedules are maintained.
If your regular collection day is missed, collection will take place on the following day, weather conditions permitting. In these extreme weather conditions, collection may be delayed more than one day. Please leave your carts out until they have been picked up.
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Home Cooking-Grease Recycling
Do you deep fry your turkey, or make a ton of French fries and you’re just not sure how to handle all the leftover oil or kitchen grease drippings? Don’t pour it down the drain, recycle it!
The Regional Waste Reduction Office reminds you there’s a place for you to get rid of all that leftover household cooking oil and congealed grease-- at either the Westside Residential Disposal and Recycling Center in West Kelowna, or at the Glenmore Landfill in Kelowna. The grease collection program is a partnership with McLeod’s Byproduct’s of Armstrong. View News Release
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Return Your Unused/Expired Medications
Did you know that Central Okanagan residents returned more than 4,800-kilograms of old medications each year? That's a 172% increase in the past five years!
BC's pharmacists are teaming up with the Regional District of Central Okanagan Waste Reduction Office to encourage residents to return their unused and old medications to their local pharmacy. And there's no cost! Returned medications can be safely disposed and will not take up space or contaminate landfills or water supplies. View BC Pharmacy Association News Release
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Help Stamp Out Illegal Dumping!
Illegal dumping costs us all. You can help combat illegal dumping activity by filling out the online form. Find out more on how you can help by visiting the Illegal Dumping webpage
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Three Composting Info Pamphlets
The Regional Waste Reduction Office has produced three pamphlets to help you get the most from your new unit! Check out:
You can also visit our Composting Information page for more helpful tips.
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