Changes to collection services vetoed by board

Proposed changes to garbage collection services in the regional district encountered further opposition last Thursday as the regional district board attempted to adopt the minutes contained in the February 3 Environment and Infrastructure Committee Meeting.

A recommendation to reduce pickup limits to one bag of garbage ran into opposition by several area directors, whose most common complaint was that regional district residents largely saw the move as a reduction in service   that was costing them more money.

 “Would it be possible for each area to select the services they use?” asked Area “B” Director George Hanson.

“My  rural constituents don’t need every second week yard waste pick up  – can I opt out of this service.”

Regional district CAO Bill Newell replied that the contract had been awarded already and that changes not be possible. 

Penticton Councillor Gary Litke reminded the board that the move towards a one bag limit was largely being done to extend the life of the Campbell Mountain landfill. Some discussion also took place with respect to contract language that stipulated “containers” versus “bags”, with several directors commenting that the purchase of a container would allow the disposal of two bags worth of waste.

The motion to move to one bag of waste was defeated.

A proposal to move to every other week yard waste pickup was also contested, with director Hanson observing once again that this was a service used by urban, not rural residents.

“Once again, it is also about the perception of value,” Hanson said.

The number of yard waste collections will increase, but the actual number has yet to be decided by the board, Solid Waste Management Coordinator Cameron Baughen told the Review.

Area “F” Director Michael Brydon observed that some flexibility was needed on this issue. The motion was rejected by the board, as was another proposal that would see kraft bags replace plastic for yard waste collection.

A proposal to move towards community based glass collection depots was accepted by the board.

Service changes at a glance:

– Two bags of garbage to be unchanged.

–  Number of yard waste collections will increase from six per year, with decision to come from the next board meeting.

– Glass collection depots will be used for glass collection.