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Flushing notice for Upper Fintry water system - July 20, 2021

Customers of the Regional District’s Upper Fintry-Shalal Road-Valley of the Sun water system are advised that water main flushing is taking place. 

Today (Tuesday, July 20) through approximately Thursday, July 29, RDCO Engineering Services staff will be flushing mains weekdays between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. 

Roadside notice boards will be in place in advance of crews working in a particular area of the water system that services almost 150 properties in the subdivision off Westside Road. 

Flushing ensures continued optimum water quality and removes any sediment deposits that may accumulate over time throughout the systems.

When flushing is taking place, water pressure can vary slightly and there may be some slight discoloration in the water.   Please check your water prior to use. We recommend that you avoid doing laundry when flushing is taking place in your area. If you experience discoloration, run the cold water tap until the water runs clear.

Customers will find more information and answers to questions they might have about the Regional District Water Main Flushing Program on the Water Systems webpage rdco.com/water.

The Regional District provides water to almost 1,100 properties in the following areas: Falcon Ridge, Killiney Beach, Sunset Ranch, Star Place/Dietrich, Westshore Estates and Upper Fintry - Shalal Road - Valley of the Sun.

For information visit rdco.com/water or contact RDCO Engineering Services at engineer@rdco.com or 250-469-6241.  To subscribe online for Regional District water quality advisories or alerts by email visit rdco.com/water.

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Falcon Ridge Water Quality Advisory Removed - July 9, 2021

After consulting with Interior Health, the Regional District of Central Okanagan has rescinded a Water Quality Advisory for residents served by the Falcon Ridge water system.

The advisory was issued March 19 affecting approximately 55 properties connected to the Falcon Ridge system off Highway 33 following intake channel maintenance and freshet-related turbidity in the Mission Creek water source. 

Water sample tests confirm that turbidity is once again within the acceptable and safe Canadian guidelines for drinking water quality.  As a result, the precautionary Water Quality Advisory has been removed.

The Falcon Ridge water system is one of six maintained and operated by the RDCO servicing almost 1,100 connections in the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West electoral areas.

For information visit the Regional District website water system webpage (rdco.com/water) or contact RDCO Environmental Services at engineer@rdco.com or 250-469-6241. To subscribe online for Regional District water quality advisories or alerts by email visit rdco.com/water.

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - July 9, 2021

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Thursday, July 9. 

When available, here's where you will find links to view a recording of the:

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Parking area closures in two Regional Parks - July 8, 2021

The gates for the following parks will close at as they regularly do at 11 p.m. on the dates listed and will reopen at 12 p.m. the next day allowing crews to paint pavement parking stall lines:

Signs advising of the adjusted gate closing times will be posted in advance to let visitors know of the change in gate opening hours.

No other parks are impacted.  From June 1 to August 31 each year, Regional Parks are open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

The Regional District offers more than 2,100 hectares of parkland including 74 kilometres of formal trails in 30 regional parks for visitors to safely explore while practicing physical distancing.  Visit rdco.com/pickapark to plan your next outing.

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Star Place Water Quality Advisory Removed - July 6, 2021

After consulting with Interior Health, the Regional District of Central Okanagan has rescinded a Water Quality Advisory for customers of the Star Place water system in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area.                      

The precautionary advisory has been in place following the annual intake and reservoir maintenance by the Trepanier Ditch Water Users Association on Tuesday, June 29.  Since the work was completed, the system has been flushed and required bacterial tests are negative in accordance with Canadian guidelines for drinking water quality.

The Regional District provides water service to just over 1,100 connections in six service areas.

For information visit the Regional District website water system webpage (rdco.com/water) or contact RDCO Engineering Services at engineer@rdco.com or 250-469-6241.  To subscribe online for Regional District water quality advisories or alerts by email visit rdco.com/water.

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Westshore Estates Water Quality Advisory removed - July 2, 2021

After consulting with Interior Health, the Regional District of Central Okanagan has rescinded a Water Quality Advisory for customers of the Westshore Estates water system in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area.                       

The precautionary advisory has been in place following replacement and upgrading the Northern View Pressure Reducing Value on Wednesday, June 23.  Since the work was completed, the impacted portion of the system has been flushed and required bacterial tests are negative in accordance with Canadian guidelines for drinking water quality. 

The Regional District provides water service to just over 1,100 connections in six service areas.

For information visit the Regional District website water system webpage (rdco.com/water) or contact RDCO Engineering Services at engineer@rdco.com or 250-469-6241.  To subscribe online for Regional District water quality advisories or alerts by email visit rdco.com/water.

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Campfire ban across the Central Okanagan - June 28, 2021

Effective 12 p.m. this Wednesday, June 30, all campfires are prohibited throughout all Central Okanagan municipalities and electoral area Fire Service Areas. 

Due to extreme temperatures, dry conditions and the high-extreme fire danger rating, the campfire ban will remain in effect until further notice.

The campfire ban affects all local government fire jurisdictions in the Regional District of Central Okanagan including the City of West Kelowna, District of Lake Country, District of Peachland, Westbank First Nation and the Ellison, Joe Rich, North Westside and Wilson’s Landing service areas in the Central Okanagan East and West Electoral Areas.  Campfires are not permitted at any time within the City of Kelowna. 

Violators could receive a fine and be charged the cost of the fire department response to a burning complaint.  Residents are encouraged to report anyone who is illegally burning by calling the Regional Fire Dispatch Centre at 250-469-8577.

Fire departments throughout the Central Okanagan remind residents and visitors that all smoking materials should be fully extinguished and motorists are reminded to use ashtrays and not throw cigarettes or other smoking materials from their vehicle. 

Please remember that smoking is not allowed in any local parks in the Central Okanagan.  Smoking is also prohibited in children’s play areas, sports fields, undeveloped parks and wilderness trails in the District of Peachland.

In addition, to prevent accidental fires and injuries, all fireworks are banned within the Central Okanagan, unless specifically permitted by a local fire department.  As well, all open burning has been prohibited within the Central Okanagan since April 30.

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Central Okanagan economy on COVID rebound - June 24, 2021

As the BC Restart program moves forward, local businesses are returning safely to many of their normal activities. The Regional Economic Recovery Task Force will also wind down its efforts, handing continued economic recovery work back to the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC)

The Task Force co-chaired by Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) Chair Gail Given and Kelowna Mayor Colin Basin was initiated by the Mayors of Kelowna, West Kelowna, Lake Country and Peachland, as well as the RDCO Chair and Chief of Westbank First Nation. They recognized early in the pandemic that a regional approach was required to identify economic recovery needs, support businesses and advocate to higher levels of government for stimulus funding.

“While we realize that it’s not a completely even playing field, we are encouraged by positive signs for a regional economic rebound in many of our industry sectors,” said Co-chair Gail Given. “According to Statistics Canada as of April 2021, 136 per cent of the jobs lost in the Central Okanagan have now been rehired. That’s an overall gain of 13,100 jobs.”

In the 15 months since its creation, the Task Force has helped local businesses weather the storm and now work toward emerging stronger. The Task Force:

  • Connected to the region’s business community through the COEDC hosted Industry Roundtables and State of the Economy sessions with the business community to collect information that helped develop an advocacy strategy, identify gaps in aid programs and guide discussions with Provincial Ministers
  • Guided and endorsed the 2021 Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission (COEDC) Priorities Plan which was updated to reflect the ongoing realities of the pandemic and its impact on local businesses
  • Endorsed the COEDC Moving Forward to 2025 Economic Development Strategy

Task Force Co-Chair and Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran says, “We have reason to be optimistic in our region. BC is the only province in Canada that has already seen its economy recover beyond what was lost during the pandemic and the Kelowna area is poised to recover faster than most. The resiliency of our local businesses has been nothing short of inspirational and we look forward to continuing to support local.”

To learn more about the Task Force, local economic indicators and the Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission visit, investkelowna.com.

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Dry conditions and Emergency preparedness - June 23, 2021

With a fraction of the normal precipitation and scorching temperatures raising fire fears across the southern Interior, Central Okanagan emergency program urges residents to be prepared. 

Regional Emergency Program Coordinator Sandra Follack says preparing for an emergency before it happens can help reduce your stress level, should you receive notice of an evacuation or alert.

While our region has not experienced serious wildfires or flooding over the past couple of years, it doesn’t mean we can become complacent.

“Our region-wide emergency program is ready in the event we are needed to support first responders,” said Follack. “Individuals and families should be ready too in case they are required to leave their homes, often with only a few minutes’ notice. Having grab-and-go kits for your family and pets at home and in your vehicle can help ensure you have the basic supplies and essential items needed to survive at least 72 hours away from your home.”

Another important reason to be prepared is that if an area is on Evacuation Alert, you are expected to be prepared to leave at a moments notice. When an area is on Evacuation Order, you must leave immediately. Be prepared, know the risk, make a kit.

In the Central Okanagan and across the Province, the Emergency Support Services program now offers an online registration system for those who may be on Evacuation Alert or Order.  It allows households/people to self-register with the ESS organization online rather than in-person at an Evacuation Reception Centre.  In-person registration will still be available for those without computer access or in the event of a power outage affecting online services.

Visit the Regional Emergency program webpage at cordemergency.ca and click on the ‘Be Prepared’ link for information and links relating to a variety of potential emergencies.

Central Okanagan emergency officials encourage everyone to be safe with any fires or smoking materials, especially at this time of year when conditions are extremely dry.  In those areas that allow campfires, please keep them small and ensure that they are completely extinguished.  Campfires and other outdoor wood-burning appliances are never permitted at any time in the City of Kelowna.  As well, smoking is not allowed in any parks across the Central Okanagan. Motorists are reminded to properly dispose of any smoking materials in ashtrays and to not flick them from vehicle windows. 

In the event of an emergency and activation of the Central Okanagan Emergency Operation Centre (EOC), the latest information will be available online at cordemergency.ca and via Facebook (facebook.com/CORDEmergency) and Twitter (twitter.com/CO_Emerg). Central Okanagan residents are encouraged to sign up for the Central Okanagan Emergencies email updates to receive notifications from the Emergency program.

The Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) Emergency program is coordinated by the Kelowna Fire Department on behalf of the RDCO, the cities of Kelowna and West Kelowna, districts of Lake Country and Peachland and Westbank First Nation.

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North Westside household hazardous waste/computer/electronics roundup - June 22, 2021

North Westside Road residents within the Central Okanagan will have a special opportunity to dispose of unwanted household hazardous waste and e-waste in a safe manner in a one day only event this summer.

Saturday, July 24 during regular operating hours at the North Westside Road Transfer Station, residents (with valid resident ID cards) will be able to drop off their left over household hazardous waste products and electronic waste for no charge.

From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. residents can safely dispose of material such as household paint and aerosol paint, flammable liquids and aerosols, domestic pesticides with the poison symbol and PCP number, gasoline (in an approved ULC container), household and automotive batteries, electronics and computer equipment, along with small appliances, lights and light fixtures. No propane tanks, chemicals or commercial waste products will be accepted.

The North Westside Road Transfer Station is open Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. until 12 noon. Beginning July 1, opening hours on Saturdays will extend to 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. The Transfer Station is located at the Sugarloaf Mountain/Whiteman Creek Forest Service Road. (Turn at the corner of Westside Road and Sugarloaf Mountain Forest Service Road and follow the signs.)

For more information and details about this collection please contact Kelowna Recycling, also known as the Battery Doctors at 250-860-2866, visit rdco.com/recycle or contact the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250 or email recycle@rdco.com.

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Fire safety in RDCO parks - June 22, 2021

With a rising fire hazard and hot, dry conditions in the forecast, the Regional District reminds visitors of a few fire prevention and safety requirements.

Smoking, vaping, fires or open flames are not allowed any time in regional parks or RDCO community parks. If you see a fire in any of our parks, immediately call 9-1-1 to report it.  Propane fueled barbeques are permitted, must be attended and kept safely away from any flammable materials.

While the fines for anyone found violating the Regional Parks or RDCO Community Parks bylaws range from $250 to $1,000, the greater danger is the risk that smoking and open fires could result in a serious blaze that threatens our parks, amenities and nearby residents and homes.

In addition to the regular signage at park entrances, special Fire Warning sandwich boards are being rotated around the regional park system reminding visitors of the fire hazard and that smoking and open fires are not allowed.

There are more than 2,100 hectares of parkland available to discover in 30 regional and 20 RDCO community parks.  Find all the locations at rdco.com/pickapark.   Please be safe and remember under current COVID health protocols to keep at least two metres between yourself and other visitors.

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North Westside bulky item collection - June 16, 2021

North Westside Road residents within the Central Okanagan will have a special opportunity to dispose of unwanted bulky items.

Wednesday, June 30 through Wednesday, July 14, during regular operating hours at the North Westside Road Transfer Station, you can dispose of large household items for a cost of $20 per truckload. 

This special disposal opportunity is available to residents with a valid ID card only, for residential items only including: appliances, scrap metal, lawn mowers and other motorized parts, household and lawn furniture.  No hazardous waste (including computers, electronics, etc.) will be accepted. Unwanted fridges and freezers will also be accepted at no charge.

Cash or cheques will be the only accepted method of payment. 

The North Westside Road Transfer Station is open Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 8 a.m. until 12 noon. Beginning July 1, opening hours on Saturdays will extend to 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. The Transfer Station is located at the Sugarloaf Mountain/Whiteman Creek Forest Service Road. (Turn at the corner of Westside Road and Sugarloaf Mountain Forest Service Road and follow the signs.)

For more information and details about this collection please visit rdco.com/recycle or contact the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250 or email recycle@rdco.com.

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Westshore water system upgrade - June 15, 2021

Over the next few months some customers of the  Westshore Estates water system will notice crews working on infrastructure upgrades to the Northern View Pressure Reducing Valve (PRV) near Westshore Road and Northern View Drive.

The project includes the replacement of the existing PRV and associated water main. Residents in the area may experience some minor pressure fluctuations, noise and dust inconveniences during the construction planned for week days between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. Motorists and traffic in the area will not be impacted.

This project is being funded by reserves for the Westshore water system.

As part of the project, a service interruption to the impacted properties in the area will be required.  Once this is scheduled we’ll provide details in advance to residents in the area.  No other Westshore Estates water customers will be affected by this work.

For information please contact RDCO Environmental Services at engineer@rdco.com or 250-469-6241.

To subscribe online for Regional District water quality advisories or alerts by email visit rdco.com/water.

The Regional District currently operates and maintains six water systems servicing more than 1,000 properties in the Sunset Ranch, Killiney Beach, Westshore Estates, Upper Fintry-Shalal Road-Valley of the Sun, Falcon Ridge, and Trepanier areas.

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Stage 2 outdoor water restrictions - June 15, 2021

Twice weekly outdoor water restrictions return tomorrow for customers of the water systems operated by the Regional District of Central Okanagan.

Each year from June 16 until September 15, Stage 2 water restrictions are in place for the Star Place, Falcon Ridge, Killiney Beach, Sunset Ranch, Upper Fintry-Shalal Road-Valley of the Sun and Westshore water systems.

Communications Officer Bruce Smith says “Stage 2 means outdoor watering is restricted for customers of those systems to two days each week. Those with even number addresses may water outdoors on Saturday and Tuesday while those with odd addresses may only irrigate outside on Sunday and Wednesday. And given the drier than normal conditions this year and severe drought designation by Agriculture Canada, if you don’t need to water gardens and lawns on your allotted day and time period, please don’t waste water. By following the outdoor watering restrictions, residents will help ensure that system reservoirs are replenished and there’s an adequate water supply for everyone.”

The RDCO Water Systems Regulations Bylaw No. 1370 also outlines the hours for automated and manual outdoor irrigation. Customers with automated sprinklers should only water between midnight and 6 a.m. on their designated day, while those with manual outdoor irrigation must restrict their watering to between 6 and 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. and midnight on their respective irrigation day. 

Between September 16 and June 15 – Stage 1 Restrictions are in place.  This allows customers to water outdoors on alternating days based on their odd or even street address number.

For more tips on water conservation inside and outside your home, visit the RDCO Water System webpage at rdco.com/water. Customers may also sign up there to receive email notifications of any water advisories or special maintenance works affecting their water system.

The Regional District maintains and operates six community water systems serving just over 1,000 properties in the Central Okanagan East and Central Okanagan West electoral areas.

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - June 10, 2021

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Thursday, June 10. 

When available, here's where you will find links to view a recording of the:

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Help reduce biting mosquitoes - June 7, 2021

You can be a mosquito bite fighter along with the Regional District Mosquito Control program.

While precipitation is lower than normal for this time of year, nuisance mosquitoes are still present.  As mosquitoes usually peak between mid-June and the end of July, steps you take now around your property can help make for fewer bites this summer.

Help reduce mosquito development and hatches by:

  • Remove any standing water sources and unused items that collect water such as old tires, plant pots or garbage cans - just a few millimetres of water is all that’s needed for mosquito larva to survive and hatch
  • Cover rain barrels with a screen so that mosquitoes can’t lay their eggs in the water 
  • At least twice a week change the water in birdbaths, wading pools and pet bowls
  • Remove any water that sits in unused swimming pools and on swimming pool covers
  • Aerate water in ponds or add fish that will feed on mosquito larvae

The RDCO Mosquito Control program says residents can also protect themselves in a number of ways:

  • Use approved repellents
  • Wear loose fitting, light coloured clothing
  • Minimize activities near treed and bushy areas at dawn and dusk when adult mosquitos are most active
  • Repair and replace any window screens to help prevent mosquitoes entering your home

For several years, trained professionals from Duka Environmental Limited have been providing mosquito control to the RDCO to those areas that help fund the program. 

President Curtis Fediuk says, “The program’s designed to control, not eliminate mosquitoes.  Following COVID safety measures, we’ve been out in the field since mid-April monitoring 280 known mosquito breeding locations.  When we find mosquito larvae developing, we apply a bacterial larvicide that controls the larva before they become biting adults.”

During July and August, the program also controls mosquito development by monitoring and if necessary treating more than 12,000 roadside catch basins located along public roadways and residential streets. 

Residents in the participating areas of the program (City of Kelowna, District of Lake Country, District of Peachland, Central Okanagan East, Westbank First Nation and a small section of West Kelowna Estates in the City of West Kelowna) can report mosquito concerns by completing an online form at rdco.com/mosquitoes or calling Duka Environmental at 1-800-681-3472.

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New fire chief for North Westside - June 2, 2021

North Westside Fire Rescue has a new paid-on-call Fire Chief starting June 14. Alex Van Bruksvoort, an experienced firefighting professional brings extensive credentials to the paid-on-call fire department that provides fire protection and first medical response service to residents in the communities of Killiney Beach, Westshore Estates, Fintry Delta, Valley of the Sun and La Casa resort.  Van Bruksvoort is a Vernon area resident and served 26 years with the City of Richmond fire department, starting as a firefighter and working his way up the ranks to retire as Captain.  Along with his practical training and expertise, he’s a certified fire investigator and has lengthy service in both fire prevention and inspections.

RDCO Fire Services manager Ross Kotscherofski says “We’re pleased to have a person with Alex’s professional credentials take on the administrative leadership and management of the North Westside department.  His fire inspection, investigation and prevention expertise will definitely complement the fire suppression experience of North Westside fire members. He’s ready to act as a mentor and build the department skills even further.”

Kotscherofski adds, “I want to thank Acting deputy chiefs Graeme Headley and Shawn Barnes and the other department officers for their dedication and diligence over the past year as we sought a new leader for the department.  Residents across the fire service area can take comfort knowing that they have a fantastic crew of members who’ve stepped up to serve with the department.  And each remains committed to the rigorous training requirements and are ready to answer the call for help when their pagers go off, responding to their neighbours fire and medical needs.” 

North Westside Fire Rescue is one of four paid-on-call fire departments of the Regional District which also provides medical first response and fire protection services for the Ellison, Joe Rich and Wilson’s Landing fire protection areas.

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - May 31, 2021

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Monday, May 31. 

When available, here's where you will find links to view a recording of the:

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Highlights from the Regional Board meeting - May 13, 2021

Here is a link to the Board Reports highlights from the Regional Board meeting Monday, April 26. 

When available, here's where you will find links to view a recording of the:

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Recycling Ambassadors return with recycling education - May 4, 2021

Are you putting the right things in your recycling cart? The Regional District Recycling Ambassadors are back on the streets this spring and summer, randomly checking what’s under the blue lid and inside curbside recycling carts. This is part of the ongoing RDCO cart education and inspection campaign to combat recycling contamination.

Engineering Manager Travis Kendel says the Recycling Ambassador Student Program, now heading into its third season, has been extremely helpful in raising proper residential recycling awareness. “Our Ambassadors will once again be reaching out to residents through direct education and curbside cart checks. We are happy to have them back, as direct resident engagement seems to be one of the most valuable and well received educational tools to encourage residents on how to recycle effectively.”

“We understand that sorting waste and recycling can sometimes be confusing. Most residents are doing a pretty good job including only what’s acceptable to put in the carts. But recycling audits show there are still a significant number of unacceptable items going into our recycling stream, especially plastic bags and other plastic films, and that’s a big problem,” says Kendel.

In addition to cart checks, the students will also be placing a handy reference guide sticker right on the carts to highlight what goes in and what stays out. Kendel says, when in doubt, don’t toss it in is an important thing to keep in mind, as placing the wrong materials in your cart, things that do not belong or should be recycled at a depot, leads to a contaminated recycling stream.

“Plastic bags, garbage, books, food waste, garden hoses, electronics, scrap metals, clothing, even yard waste—items that have never been accepted in our curbside recycling program are still showing up and contaminating the recycling stream,” says Kendel.

“If we don’t significantly reduce and eliminate these unacceptable products from our recycling loads, we face financial penalties from Recycle BC. We need to do a better job and that requires continuous education and monitoring.”

Kendel says the Recycling Ambassadors will have a quick look at the contents in recycling carts, and if they find items that don’t belong they’ll leave information explaining what went wrong.  In some cases, if there is significant contamination, carts won’t be picked up until the offending material is removed.

Here are some of the items Ambassadors will be looking for:

  • Garbage
    • Garden hoses, landscape edging and tarps
    • Paper towels and tissues
    • Non-packaging plastics such as toys, Tupperware type containers, laundry baskets
  • Items recyclable at depots and other locations (but not in the cart)
    • Plastic bags including bagged recyclables
    • Styrofoam
    • Glass
    • Soft plastics such as cling wrap, bubble wrap, chip and snack bags, zipper bags
    • Electronics and small appliances
    • Textiles such as clothes, fabric and pillows
    • Soft cover novels and hard cover books and textbooks
  • Hazardous waste
    • Hazards such as syringes, propane tanks, oil jugs

In 2019 the Regional District inspected over 12,500 recycling carts and sent approximately 2,500 letters to residents when the wrong materials were found in the recycling, garbage and yard waste carts – to help encourage future compliance. “Due to COVID-19, contamination letters and cart checks were temporarily halted. As of late 2020, those programs are back online and we’re actively addressing recycling contamination throughout our community.”

To find out more about what to recycle in your curbside cart or at a depot, visit rdco.com/recycle, or download the free Recycle Coach App.

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Regional District of Central Okanagan | 1450 KLO Road | Kelowna, BC V1W 3Z4
Ph: 250-763-4918 | Fax: 250-763-0606 | Email: info@rdco.com
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm (Closed Holidays)