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Fix Stuff at the Repair Cafe
Do you have a broken down household item you’re not sure how to fix? Don’t chuck it- repair it instead at the upcoming Repair Café at Okanagan College. Clothing, clocks, bikes, knick-knacks, a group of talented volunteers will work with you to fix the item, for free!
Presented by the Regional District’s Waste Reduction Office, the Repair Cafe runs Saturday, November 17th, 10:00 am until 2:00 pm, at the Okanagan College TRADES Building, 1000 KLO Road.
“These Repair Cafés showcase the value of repair and repurposing- a counter to the throw away mindset,” says Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart. Our 30 plus volunteer fixers will attempt to breathe new life into just about anything. If you can carry it in under your arm, they will do their best to tackle the problem.
Stewart adds they’ve been holding two Repair Cafes for a few years now, and attendance continues to climb with each event. “People seem really tickled to have this service available to them, and we find they’re often surprised to learn that fixing many broken items is possible, sometimes even easy. If you attend, you will find you are encouraged to actively participate in the dis-assembly, troubleshooting and repair of your item, so you leave empowered, part of the process. “
What Can You Bring to the Repair Café? (one item only please!)
We have volunteer fixers to help you repair:
- Small appliances and other electrical items
- Sewing or mending clothes, bags etc.
- Upholstery (small items)
- Small wooden items
- Metal items and much more
Also at the event, the Okanagan Regional Library will be on hand with its Mobile Library. You’ll be able to borrow books on site about home repair, small appliances, automotive repair, sewing, and more. As well, Electro Recycle will be offering a free BBQ lunch for anyone who brings in a small appliance to be fixed or recycled. If can’t be fixed, you’ll be able to recycle your small appliance or power tool right there. And parking is free on site for the day.
For more info visit regionaldistrict.com/repaircafe, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office for more info at 250.469.6250.
(November 7, 2018)
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Curbside Yard Waste Collection Wrapping Up
A reminder there are just a few weeks left this year to have your yard waste picked up at your curb.
Bi- weekly fall yard waste pickup ends Friday November 30th. That’s the last day in the Central Okanagan for the curbside yard waste pickup program until collection resumes again March 1st, 2019.
You’re reminded to put your yard waste out for collection by 7 am on the morning of your regular garbage day. To determine your yard waste collection week, you can refer to the Living Greener Calendar, download the handy my-waste app, or visit regionaldistrict.com/recycle.
Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart says all the yard waste collected curbside is given new life by composting and reusing it, so it’s important to keep what you put in your cart to only yard waste. Plastic bags, flower pots, rocks, sod, kitchen scraps or garbage, any of that will contaminate the final product and needs to be left out. . “We collect close to 13 thousand tonnes of green material from the curb annually, all of that is composted and turned into the soil enhancer GlenGrow, which you can use in your garden come springtime.”
Accepted items include:
- Wood chips, bark
- Garden plants
- Grass clippings
- Fruit droppings
- Branches and pruning’s up to 5 centimetres (2 inches) in diameter and less than one metre (3 feet) in length
If you’re looking to upgrade your yard waste cart, contact your municipality or visit regionaldistrict.com/recycle..
(November 7, 2018)
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Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers Wins International Award
Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers has been recognized internationally for an outstanding video Public Service Announcement.
Crime Stoppers International (CSI) hosted its 39thAnnual Conference in the Hague Netherlands. The theme of the conference was Creating Alliances Against Crime, convening professionals in government, private industry, media, the public and law enforcement to address the challenges and opportunities that exist in fighting crime.
Each year, Crime Stoppers International recognizes a number of individuals, programs, activities and campaigns from around the world for excellence and for their contribution to the achievement of the Crime Stoppers International vision – to help stop, solve and prevent crime globally.
Congratulations to this year’s winners, who were announced at an Awards Presentation Ceremony held in conjunction with the 2018 Crime Stoppers International Annual Conference in front of an international audience of Crime Stoppers delegates and distinguished guests.
Central Okanagan Coordinator Gerry Guiltenane says "We are very pleased to announce that the Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers program won the award for Best Public Service Announcement on 'How Crime Stoppers works'. This video production was created and produced with the assistance of a Kelowna company “Beachtek” operated by Harry Kaufmann and videographer Antonio Battista."
You can view this video on the News Page on the Crime Stoppers website at www.crimestoppers.net
(November 2, 2018)
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Say No to Hallo-waste
Once Halloween is over, why not take a moment to rethink how you can make your colorful jack-o-lantern work for you. There are a number of options to give your pumpkin a whole new life.
The Regional Waste Reduction Office encourages you to toss your pumpkin in your backyard compost bin for excellent results come spring. “Pumpkins are high in nitrogen, an excellent material to add to your backyard compost bin,” says Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart with the Regional Waste Reduction Office. “If you chop them up into small pieces with some fall leaves, it will break down just that much faster. Next spring you’ll have a great nutrient rich soil amendment to add to your flower beds or veggie patch,” says Stewart.
If you don’t compost, you can also put your pumpkin in your yard waste cart for your next pickup. Check your Living Greener Calendar, the My-Waste app, or regionaldistrict.com/recycle for yard waste pickup schedules in your area. A reminder that yard waste pick- up ends for the year November 30th. View News Release
For more information on composting or yard waste collection programs, visit regionaldistrict.com/recycle or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250.
(October 30, 2018)
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Killiney Beach Community Park Flood Recovery and Upgrade Work
The first phase of flood recovery and upgrading work is set to begin in Killiney Beach Community Park.
Starting Thursday and continuing for two weeks, crews will be making repairs to the upland area of the 5.1-hectare park at the end of Hodges Road along Okanagan Lake that was damaged by the spring 2017 flooding. During this initial construction, the park access road and parking area will be upgraded with asphalt paving.
Park visitors should expect temporary closures while this work is underway. Please stay out of any closed areas and follow the direction of the construction crew on site.
The total cost of this flood recovery and upgrade work is estimated at $218,000. The BC Disaster Financial Assistance program is funding 80% of the flood recovery repairs while the Canada-BC Community Works Gas Tax program is funding the $136,000 cost of the park improvements.
It’s anticipated that before next summer, repairs will be made to the park boat launch and adjacent dock. Both sustained significant damage from last year’s record high Okanagan Lake levels.
Residents can find the latest information and status of all RDCO park flood recovery projects by visiting www.regionaldistrict.com/parksfloodrecovery and on the RDCO website Major Projects Map.
For more information contact Parks Services at 250-469-6232 or email email@example.com.
(October 30, 2018)
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Okanagan Travel Survey Has Arrived
Households throughout the Central Okanagan and Vernon will be randomly selected and sent a letter inviting them to participate in the 2018 Okanagan Travel Survey between October and mid-December.
The survey, conducted every five years, provides critical information to help plan improvements to roads, transit infrastructure, services, and pedestrian and cycling facilities.
“We urge residents who are contacted to participate because their contribution is vital to improving transportation in our community and our region,” said Rafael Villarreal, Program Administrator for the Sustainable Transportation Partnership of the Central Okanagan.
Through a confidential online survey or by phone, participating households will be asked where they travel to on a typical day, when they go, and how they get there, as well as demographic information.
“By letting us know how you get around on a day-to-day basis, you are telling us what transportation options are important to you,” said City of Vernon Transportation Manager Amanda Watson. “The Okanagan Travel Survey provides local governments with a wealth of information that is vital for future transportation planning.”
The results of the survey will indicate trends in regional travel behaviour, measure whether Okanagan residents are increasing their use of alternative modes of transportation and help assess the effectiveness and timing of transportation investments.
Victoria-based research firm R.A. Malatest and Associates Ltd. will be conducting the survey on behalf of the municipalities of Kelowna, Vernon, West Kelowna, Peachland, Lake Country, the Regional District of Central Okanagan, Westbank First Nation and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Participants who complete the survey will be entered to win a cash prize or one of 100 gift certificates.
For questions about the survey, contact Malatest’s survey hotline toll free at 1-855-319-2887 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information about the survey, visit www.smarttrips.ca/travelsurvey
(October 29, 2018)
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Utility Bill Payments Due November 10th
Just reminder that Utility bill payments are due by November 10th to avoid late fees.
With rotating postal disruptions, you can make secure utility bill and other payments at your convenience online anytime at www.regionaldistrict.com/payments. For the variety of additional payment options visit our Finance webpages.
(October 22, 2018)
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Regional Parks Goes Quietly Green
The crunch of gravel under the wheels is the only sound that gives away the presence of a new vehicle in our Regional Parks.
Staff has nicknamed the new electric truck, the first in the parks fleet, ‘Casper’ because of its ghost-like, stealth qualities. The electric motor that drives the vehicle is so quiet that it helps add to the experience of park visitors, reducing noise and just as importantly, exhaust emissions, so the air is cleaner. Staff says many people have been surprised by just how quiet the vehicle is.
Communications Officer Bruce Smith says “The quietness and no exhaust features of the electric vehicle supports one of the goals of our Regional Parks Mission Statement to protect the environment. The batteries can easily be recharged with a standard electrical outlet. We anticipate that we’ll see some fuel savings, since electricity is cheaper than petroleum based fuels and reduced costs of maintenance compared with a standard combustible vehicle.”
As well, the vehicle’s size was an important reason for purchasing it. Smith adds, “Its 53 inch narrow width means the truck is able to cross all our bridge structures along the Mission Creek Greenway and as well as in many of our other regional parks.”
The vehicle is licensed for regular road travel and moves at a top speed of 42-kilometers an hour. It has rear box with a 1,500 pound capacity which means it can be used by staff for a variety of maintenance needs.
The Might-E Truck vehicle was manufactured by Canadian Electric Vehicle Limited on Vancouver Island at a cost of $35,000. The Regional District received a $5,000 rebate grant from Plug-in BC to further offset the purchase.
(October 22, 2018)
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July through September Program Highlights
The first weeks of the third quarter of the year was dominated by responses to what became known as the Okanagan Complex wildfires, forcing hundreds of residents from their homes. As the summer advanced, so too did the programs offered by the Regional District.
We saw a regional park severely damaged by flooding in the spring of 2017, repaired and opened again for visitors. And we saw work on creating the first trail in the region's largest park get underway, thanks to many volunteers.
We hope you enjoy some of the highlights of our regional programs and services from July through September 2018.
(October 11, 2018)
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Roll And Stroll
This fall, moms and caregivers with babies and little ones are welcome to join our popular free weekly walking club.
‘Roll and Stroll’ is a great opportunity to meet other parents and spend time casually exploring Mission Creek Regional Park (Springfield and Durnin Roads).
Each Thursday morning at 9:30 until November 29th, participants meet at the Environmental Education Centre for the Okanagan (EECO). Enjoy a leisurely 45 minute walk through the park, before returning to the EECO for refreshments and some baby basics. Participants are encouraged to use strollers and baby carriers that are suitable for rough terrain.
The program is free, but registration is required by calling the EECO at 250-469-6140 or email email@example.com.
For more information about this or other Regional Park programs please visit the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/parksevents or contact the EECO at 250-469-6140.
(October 4, 2018)
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Joe Rich Fire Rescue is Recruiting!
Members of Joe Rich Fire Rescue are always ready to answer the call to help their neighbours! View Poster
They’d like you to join them during the fall recruitment drive running in October and November. Applications are now being accepted to become a member of the Joe Rich Fire Rescue Department.
Prospective members must live within eight kilometers of Station 51 (11481 Highway 33) or Station 52 (6550 Goudie Road). As well, they must be between the ages of 19 and 65 and be in good physical condition.
Anyone interested in becoming a paid-on-call firefighter should call 250-469-6179 and leave their name, phone number and email address. Potential recruits will be contacted regarding the next intake and information evening. Applications and recruitment information is also available for downloading and printing on the RDCO website www.regionaldistrict.com/firerecruit.
Interviews and physical testing of potential candidates will take place this fall. Training will be provided for successful applicants during the department’s regular evening or weekend sessions.
(October 1, 2018)
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Open Burning Returns in the Central Okanagan October 1st
Seasonal temperatures and a low fire hazard means open burning season will begin for eligible property owners on Monday, October 1st.
Burning is only allowed when air quality and venting conditions are good for those property owners obtaining a permit from their local fire authority.
Under Regional District and local fire bylaws permitted open burning may start October 1st and must be complete on April 30th.
Burning permits are available from local fire departments.* Those eligible to burn within the four Central Okanagan East or Central Okanagan West electoral area fire protection areas (Ellison, Joe Rich, North Westside, Wilson’s Landing) may call the Regional District at 250-469-6223 to obtain a permit. (Long Distance Collect Calls are accepted weekdays only between 8:00 am and 4:00 pm, excluding holidays).
Property owners with a valid permit must call the toll-free Outdoor Burning Hotline: 1-855-262-2876 (BURN) before lighting any fire to determine if open burning is allowed on a particular day. In order for burning to occur both the Venting and Air Quality conditions must be good. This information will also be available each day after 8:00 am at regionaldistrict.com/airquality.
Permitted property owners should reduce any smoke by following these Best Practices for open burning:
- On days when conditions allow for open burning, ignite fires after 10:00 am when venting conditions are usually more favourable;
- Pruning’s, branches and stumps must be dried for a minimum of two years;
- For more efficient burning make smaller piles with good air ventilation.
Under the Regional District Smoke Control Bylaw, nuisance smoke from open burning is not allowed in the City of Kelowna, the District of Lake Country, City of West Kelowna and the Central Okanagan East and West Electoral Areas or under the bylaws of the District of Peachland. Yard waste such as leaves, pine needles, grass clippings, weeds and other garden waste are not allowed to be burned.
Violators could receive a fine or be charged with the cost of putting out the fire. Residents are encouraged to report anyone illegally burning on a non-burning day by calling the Regional Fire Dispatch Center at 250-469-8577.
All Central Okanagan property owners are encouraged to use other clean air options to dispose of their yard waste.
- The bi-weekly curbside yard waste collection program is underway through November 30th and residents are reminded to only place leaves, grass, pine needles and small pruning’s inside their wheeled yard waste cart with the green lid closed.
- Residents may also use the yard waste drop off program at the Glenmore landfill and Westside Residential Waste Disposal and Recycling Centre (Asquith Road in West Kelowna). Fees apply at each facility. When transporting loads for disposal, please make sure they are covered.
- Mow-Chip Rent-it Rebate program - Qualifying participants must have a property one hectare or greater in size with a small volume of wood for fuel reduction and/or agricultural activities that can’t be served through the regular Agricultural Chipping Program. The Regional Air Quality Program provides up to 80% of the cost of renting mow/chip equipment or services up to a $500 maximum. Visit the Mow-Chip Rent-it program for more information. Depending on your needs, you can hire a contractor or rent your own machine. Search online under wood chipping, tree service, machine rentals, etc. to find a company that suits your needs.
- Air Curtain Burning uses forced air to burn wood faster and with less smoke. Contact your local Fire Department to learn more about forced air incineration options for burning agricultural or land clearing wood waste
- A number of private companies offer wood chipping and grinding services or rent portable chippers. Some may also pick up yard waste for disposal.
Agricultural burning is allowed under Provincial Right to Farm legislation and accounts for most of the burning permits issued in the Central Okanagan. Before starting any fire, farmers must call 1-855-262-2876 (BURN) or visit regionaldistrict.com/airquality to ensure burning can take place on a particular day. As an alternate disposal method, the Regional Air Quality Program is working with farmers to encourage use of the Agricultural Chipping Program. The program offers a Best Management Practices handbook and DVD to help farmers. Agricultural producers who wish to participate in the chipping program should contact the Regional Air Quality Coordinator at 250-469-8408 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.
Central Okanagan residents are reminded to check with their local fire jurisdiction regarding regulations and restrictions regarding campfires, chimineas and other outdoor wood fire burning devices. Campfires are not allowed at any time within the City of Kelowna.
(September 19, 2018)
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Clean Water Begins at Home - Source Control
What you put down the drain or flush can ultimately affect the quality of Okanagan Lake.
That’s why the Regional District of Central Okanagan has produced a series of short videos explaining what residents can do at home to protect the treated effluent released from the Westside Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Communications Officer Bruce Smith says what the videos target is known as Source Control. “Thanks to a Water Conservation and Quality Improvement program grant from the Okanagan Basin Water Board / Okanagan Waterwise, we’ve developed four videos showing what people can do at home, or the source, to protect our lakes. The videos focus on Source Control, Materials you can flush; Fats, Oils and Greases or FOG and Leftover Medications and Pharmaceuticals. Our goal is to get people thinking before they let something flow down the drain or flush, so that they’re not reducing water quality or contributing to clogged drains and pipes. As the videos say, Clean Water Begins at Home.”
Earlier this year, the regional district sent an information card to residents serviced by the Westside Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant encouraging them to ‘Don’t Rush, Think Before You Flush’.
Each day, the plant located off Gellatly Road in West Kelowna treats an average of ten million litres of wastewater. Practicing source control at home not only helps protect the integrity of the plant’s biological treatment process, it prevents costly clogs and backups of pipes. But more importantly, it keeps materials that can’t be removed through the treatment process from entering Okanagan Lake, a source of drinking water for so many residents.
Food waste like fats, grease and oils (deep fryer oil, vegetable oil, cooking oil) can easily congeal and block pipes. As well, diapers, wet wipes, bandages, personal hygiene products and cotton swabs should be placed into the household garbage. And hazardous waste materials like paints, solvents and other chemicals should be disposed of at the free household hazardous waste drop off at the Battery Doctors in Kelowna. Unused or expired medications and prescription drugs should be returned to a pharmacy and residents can visit www.medicationsreturn.ca for more information.
Smith adds, “Collected kitchen cooking oils, fats, grease and lards can be placed into a container and put into the trash, or taken for disposal in receptacles at the Westside Regional Waste Disposal and Recycling Centre in West Kelowna or the Glenmore landfill, in order to be recycled in a program with McLeod’s Byproducts of Armstrong.”
Links to the videos and more information is available by visiting www.regionaldistrict.com/wastewater.
(September 12, 2018)
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Video Highlights January - June Programs and Services
The first six months of this year has been a busy one across all areas of the Regional District organization. Check out this video update highlighting various service and program accomplishments from January through the end of June. Among them, initiatives involving two RDCO fire departments, a new Air Quality program, several programs and staff awards and some major Capital projects. The video can be viewed on the RDCO YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/regionaldistrict.
(August 28, 2018)
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Climate Action Annual Report
Through its participation in the Climate Action Revenue Incentive Program (CARIP), the Regional District of Central Okanagan publicly share the accompanying CARIP Progress Report each year.
The report details actions being taken during 2017 and proposed actions for 2018 related to the Regional District's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
(updated June 6, 2018)
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Washouts Close Section of the Mission Creek Greenway
At least two washout slides have forced the closure of a section of the Mission Creek Greenway.
The Pinnacle Trail loop past the KLO Creek Bridge, the Black Bear Trail along Mission Creek and the upper Greenway Trail leading to the Hydraulic Creek trail-end are closed until further notice while staff assesses damage, stability and possible repairs that will be required. View Map
For safety reasons, the Regional District of Central Okanagan urges Greenway users to respect the barricades and trail closed signs posted at the KLO Creek Bridge (downstream from Field Road entrance).
Regional Parks staff is continuing to monitor creek levels along the entire length of the Mission Creek Greenway recreational corridor. With creeks expected to continue rising due to the recent weather and with spring runoff, people are reminded that water levels may rise unexpectedly and they, children and pets should stay safely back from creek banks, which may be slippery or subject to erosion from the spring runoff.
Boaters and those using Okanagan Lake boat launches are advised to watch for floating debris that may enter the lake as a result of the runoff.
(April 17, 2018)
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Mow-Chip Alternative to Outdoor Burning
There’s another incentive program now available as an alternative to outdoor burning.
The Regional District of Central Okanagan Air Quality Program is offering a rebate through the new Mow-Chip program. It provides 80% of the cost of equipment rental (daily/multi-day/weekly/) or chipping/flail mow service up to a maximum of $500 per applicant.
Qualifying participants must have a property one hectare or greater in size with a small volume of wood for fuel reduction and/or agricultural activities that can’t be served through the regular Agricultural Chipping Program.
The Air Quality Technical Committee has been working on different approaches to reduce particulate matter across the region. In order to preserve good air quality and to keep material out of the landfill, one option was to encourage more on-site grinding. According to the Agricultural Waste Disposal - Best Practices Guide, BURNING IS NOT RECOMMENDED for prunings as they’re easily managed by chipping or using a flail mower. A number of businesses provide rental equipment or services and chipping can be done year-round. Green wood waste is not allowed to be burned and is perfect for chipping. Dry wood creates too much dust and wears the chipping blades down faster.
A November 2017 survey on open burning found Central Okanagan residents expressed their support for a rebate of this type program. The rental rebate includes fuel mitigation activities, as around 15% of all burning permits issued in the Central Okanagan are for fuel reduction to create a defensible space reducing wildfire risks. Homeowners are also encouraged to remove and chip any flammable landscaping materials (cedars, junipers etc.).
Open burning should not be considered as a first option for wood management. Residents and farmers that apply for this new rebate will show their commitment and social responsibility by using alternatives to burning and supporting the region in its efforts to protect the health of their families and neighbours. Working together, we will help improve local air quality.
(March 21, 2018)
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Document Download Problems?
Recently the Regional District has become aware of periodic problems regarding the inability of some users of our website to open Adobe PDF documents that had been previously accessible. They've received an error notice saying that the document they were trying to open is not available.
We understand that the problem has been caused by a recent Microsoft Internet Explorer Security update. This update on the user's computer has broken the ability of the Adobe Acrobat Reader program to open and access previously downloadable PDF documents in Internet Explorer.
Should this problem occur on your computer system, please download and install the latest free version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can find this by following this link: http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html or by clicking on the Adobe Reader icon on the bottom right corner on each page of our website.
We thank you for your patience and appreciate your continued support of the Regional District of Central Okanagan website.
For information or queries about our website please contact: email@example.com
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August 29, 2018
Fight Mosquito Habitat With Free Tire Drop Off
Recycle any old, unused tires that may be a breeding ground for mosquitoes around your property.
The Regional District of Central Okanagan and Tire Stewardship BC are again joining forces to provide a one-stop tire drop-off event for any old vehicle tires with or without rims.
Saturday, September 15th
10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Parking Lot #17 (off West Campus Road)
1000 KLO Road, Kelowna
For the third year in a row the regional district and its Mosquito program contractor Duka Environmental are teaming up with Tire Stewardship BC for this free old tire collection event. Last year, residents dropped off more than a thousand old, unwanted tires which helped to curb mosquito breeding habitat! It only takes a few centimeters of water inside any old tires on your property to provide the perfect breeding ground for mosquito larvae. By dropping off any unwanted tires, you’ll reduce potential opportunities for mosquitoes to hatch.
Tire Stewardship BC is a not-for-profit society that manages BC’s tire recycling program. Eco fees paid by consumers purchasing tires are used to pay for transporting and recycling scrap tires in environmentally responsible ways rather than having them take up space in landfills. For information on programs offered by Tire Stewardship BC visit www.tsbc.ca.
There are excellent resources available to help you and your family during the mosquito season. Visit the Mosquito Control page on the Regional District website regionaldistrict.com/mosquitoes for information about the program.
Tire Stewardship BC
October 20, 2018
Central Okanagan West Electoral Area Director Election Result
On Saturday, October 20th, eligible voters in the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area cast ballots to determine their new Regional District Director. Here are the unofficial results:
Central Okanagan West Electoral Area Director
% of Votes Cast
John Michael Cole
The total number of ballots cast is 502.
The results of the election will not be officially declared by the Chief Election Officer until Wednesday, October 24th by 4:00 pm.