(Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen photo)

(Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen photo)

Large item collection events cancelled in Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen

Concerns about spread of COVID-19 led to decision to cancel collection events

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen has cancelled large item collection events due to concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic.

This includes events scheduled for Penticton, Oliver, Osoyoos and Keremeos.

The large item collection events allow residents to place unwanted furniture, appliances and mattresses for collection once a year. In the past, the program has been popular and well used.

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As conditions change, local governments will attempt to organize a similar event in the fall. If collection becomes possible later this year, residents will be informed of the new dates.

The cancellation was done to protect workers, since collecting the large items requires workers to be close to each other.

Two people are needed to lift the items, while a third person drives the vehicle. This proximity puts them at risk of contracting and spreading COVID-19.

The physical distancing requirements call for people to keep at least two minutes apart to reduce the spread of the virus.

Regular collection of curbside garbage, recycling and yard waste will proceed, since only one person operates each truck, allowing for safe physical distancing while collecting garbage, recycling and yard waste.

Health officials are asking people to stay home until further notice. The regional district is asking people to stockpile large items rather than visiting local landfills or recycling facilities at this time.

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