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Public input sought on RDOS solid waste management plan

While we may take out the trash every week, we rarely stop to talk about it. Now is your chance to be in the loop! The Regional District Okanagan Similkameen (RDOS) invites residents and businesses to have a say on proposed future programs for managing garbage, recycling, composting and landfills over the next ten years.

Seven open houses and public information meetings will be held throughout the region during the month of May, gathering feedback and ideas on how best to reduce and manage the garbage we produce. It’s all part of updating the region’s Solid Waste Management Plan.

“The volunteers who gave up their time to help us develop this draft plan deserve a big thanks,” says Dan Ashton, RDOS Chair. “Now we need to hear from RDOS residents about your preferences for future programs such as food waste recycling and composting. This planning process, along with the public’s feedback,will help guide future decisions; helping us extend the length of our landfills, protect our environment, reduce greenhouse gases and make the best use of our tax dollars.”

Each open house gets underway at 6 p.m. with time to review a series of display panels and talk one-on-one with staff. At 7 p.m. there will be a 30 minute presentation on the plan and the opportunity to ask questions and provide your thoughts on the ideas presented. The draft plan has been developed with input and guidance from three advisory committees representing residents, businesses, industry, agriculture, First Nations and member municipalities. In addition, the RDOS recently conducted a survey for residents and businesses, with improvements to recycling topping the list of interests.

“Input from residents and businesses is key to building successful programs that will help meet our future needs,” says Ashton. “Our solid waste programs need to be technically, financially and environmentally sound - and user-friendly.”

Coming Soon: New recycling and yard waste collection changes.

Residents can also learn about upcoming improvements being made to local recycling and yard waste programs, such as frequent yard waste collections and the City of Penticton’s switch from blue boxes to blue bags.

“While each municipality and the RDOS are providing more specific program details for their residents, we will be able to answer questions about the changes at our open  houses,” adds Cameron Baughen, Waste Reduction Coordinator for the RDOS.

Also, starting July 1, glass jars and bottles will no longer be accepted in curbside recycling programs. They will be accepted at local recycling depots instead.

“Glass only represents about four per cent  of the recycling collected. For the small amount recovered it is very costly to collect as glass has to be collected separately from other recyclables. Even with separate collection, broken glass continues to be a major contaminant in other recyclables, such as paper and plastics,” informs Baughen. “As a result, like most communities in British Columbia, we can no longer accept glass in our curbside collection programs.”

The good news is that glass jars and bottles can be dropped off at the free bins at our landfills or recycling depots. Some local businesses and bottle depots will also have free bins where you can drop off your glass.

For more information on the region’s Solid Waste Management Plan, please visit email or call toll free 1-877-610-3737.

Local open houses are as follows:

Keremeos Monday, May 9 at Elks Hall.


Okanagan Falls Thursday, May 12 at Okanagan Elementary School gym.


- RDOS press release