Tons of Trash Take Out of the Bush
An ad hoc group of dedicated volunteers worked some clean up magic in Peachland Saturday. Thanks to their efforts over a few short hours they collectively pulled just under four tons of garbage and over 10 tons of metal out of some chronic garbage hot spots.
The weekend event, hosted by the Regional District Waste Reduction Office, acted as the official kick off to Community Clean up Month which happens every April. As part of the annual event, the Regional District encourages you to plan a clean- up of your own big or small, supplies all the bags and gear you may require, and will also arrange to pick up the garbage you collect when you’re done.
“This event showcases what great work people can do when their pool their collective resources and goodwill,” says Rae Stewart, Waste Reduction Facilitator with the Regional Waste Reduction Office. “We had approximately 50 dedicated volunteers take part in the clean- up. They tackled a number of chronic garbage trouble spots including the Princeton Avenue corridor, back roads near Spring Lake, the Bedford Trails and beyond. Volunteers helped yank everything from garbage to unsightly car bodies, appliances, tires, a hot tub, an old boat hull, and additional debris out of the bush.”
Stewart says huge environmental kudos go out to all those that dedicated their time and elbow grease to make a difference as part of the weekend clean-up. “Thank you as well to members of the Peachland Sportsmen’s Association, the Peachland Watershed Protection Alliance, Okanagan Forestry Task Force and the Zip Zone that gave of their time and to ABC Recycling and For Less Disposal for their time and equipment to make the event happen.”
Stewart adds it’s not ok to dump or toss anything in the great outdoors. “Fortunately, there are many that are willing to do something about it and help spread the message- take care of our beautiful community, don’t sully our natural environment.”
If you would like to arrange your own 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.
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Yard Waste Collection Returns March 1st
It may not look like gardening season yet, but yard waste collection is back on! Starting Friday, March 1st all residents receiving curbside garbage/recycling collection will also benefit from yard waste pick up every two weeks until the end of December.
Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart says, “This is a good time to do a post winter check-up of your cart, and make sure any materials that don’t belong and may have landed in there by mistake over the winter months are removed - things like flower pots, garbage, bags of any kind, pet waste, recycling, anything that would compromise the composting process.”
Stewart adds all the yard waste collected curbside is then composted and given new life as a valuable soil enhancer--so it’s important to keep it free of any plastic, garbage or other matter that could contaminate the end product. Last year alone the program collected just under 15,000 tonnes of yard waste at the curb and turned it into high quality compost instead of it being buried at the landfill.
New to the program this year, yard waste collection will be extended for an additional month, with pick-up until the end of December. “Residents have been asking for extended yard waste service for many years now, especially in the fall where yard clean up can take time and effort to complete,” says Stewart. “Dependent on the year and the weather, often those leaves don’t fall until very late in the season, so this will allow for a longer window to get your yard taken care of before winter.”
You’re reminded to put your yard waste out for collection by 7 am on the morning of your regular garbage day. The following items are accepted in your yard waste cart:
- Leaves, needles
- Branches, prunings - up to 5 centimetres (2 inches) in diameter & less than one metre (3 feet) in length
- Wood chips, bark
- Garden plants
- Fruit droppings
- Grass clippings
- No rocks, sod or soil
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 yard waste link 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 MyWaste app at regionaldistrict.com/mywasteapp. This free app gives you collection schedule info and a “What goes where” search feature 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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No Changes to Curbside Recycling Program
The Regional Waste Reduction Office would like to remind residents on the curbside recycling collection program in the Central Okanagan that there is no change to the program, despite what you may be hearing about fluctuating markets for recyclable material.
What you have been putting in your cart with the blue lid as part of the curbside program for years is still accepted as recycling and is going to viable end markets for processing and recycling. For instance plastics go to Merlin Plastics in Delta and the majority of paper goes to end markets overseas, in the U.S. and in B.C. and can be made into things like egg cartons, boxes and other paper products.
“Residents of the Central Okanagan have been working hard for decades to be good recyclers, and we commend their efforts. Their actions make a difference” says Jodie Foster, Manager of Corporate Communications for the Regional District of Central Okanagan. “We want to assure residents that nothing has changed with the curbside program”.
Foster adds, “With the recycling program, we are contractors to Recycle BC, which since 2014 oversees all recycling in the Province. We collect recyclables on their behalf. We have no indication that recyclables will no longer be accepted from curbside locations. If the program were to ever require widespread changes, you would hear that from Recycle BC and the Regional District directly.”
In a parallel program, multi-family and commercial recycling in the region is handled by commercial hauling companies, however the Regional Waste Reduction Office and the City of Kelowna-owned Glenmore Landfill have been emphasizing the need to continue to divert recyclables. There is a list of mandatory recyclables banned from the Glenmore Landfill including cardboard, paper, newspaper, tin, aluminum and plastic containers. The program has shown a reduction in recyclables going to the landfill by 20 per cent since the program started in 2011.
Foster says, “In light of recent reports in the community that some companies have reduced recycling services at multi-family buildings, we’ll be increasing our monitoring and fines for mandatory recyclables to make sure they are not being taken to the landfill for burial. Multi-family residents should check with their haulers to make sure they know what is happening with their recyclables. The option for residents to drop off materials to the depots is also still in place so no matter what, recyclables shouldn’t be going into the garbage”.
For more information on the curbside program, locations of depots and what you can recycle, go to www.regionaldistrict.com/recycle, or download the free easy to use MyWaste App from iTunes or Google Play.
For a current list of the mandatory recyclables at the Glenmore Landfill that are subject to a $150/mT surcharge if mixed with other material headed for burial, visit regionaldistrict.com/recycle.
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Garbage Tip Fees Increasing at Westside Transfer Station
Starting January 1st 2019, it will cost slightly more to dispose of garbage at the Westside Residential Waste Disposal Center on Asquith Road in West Kelowna. Details
This is the second of three increases approved by the Regional Board in April 2018 to cover additional annual disposal expenses and tipping fee increases at the City of Kelowna’s Glenmore Landfill.
Fees will rise on January 1st 2019 and 2020 for the disposal of garbage at the transfer facility that serves residents in West Kelowna, Peachland, Westbank First Nation reserves and the Central Okanagan West Electoral Area. Note: drywall is not currently accepted at the Westside Transfer Station due to the large stockpile. Drywall is accepted (disposal fees apply) at the Glenmore Landfill 7 days a week.
For more information on the Westside facility tipping fee increases, visit regionaldistrict.com/recycle.
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