RDOS staff recommend changes to curbside services

Changes would provide opportunity to “customize” some curbside services in RDOS


Less than a year after the ink dried on a renewed five year contract for regional district garbage services, regional district staff have presented to the board proposals for changes to Curbside collection services.

Staff  hope the board will decide and  adopt any changes in time for the release of the new collection calendars on July 1.

In January of 2011 the regional board awarded a five year contract commencing July 1, 2011 for curbside collection services within Electoral Areas “A,” “B,” “C,” “ D,” “E,” “F,” “G” and the Village of Keremeos.

The board expressed a desire at the time for different areas to have the flexibility to develop a curbside service schedule that met the needs of their area residents. The contract was therefore structured in a manner that allowed for the RDOS to change services during the life of the contract and have different services for different electoral areas. The costs of the various service offerings were also incorporated.

Potential service options within the contract for consideration include such things as “one container limit per home per week”, “bi-weekly collection of yard and garden waste” and “no collection of yard waste in plastic bags.”

A “wasteshed” is the geographic area that sends waste to one sanitary landfill. In the RDOS there are five wastesheds comprised of the Campbell Mountain, Summerland, Oliver, Osoyoos and Princeton Sanitary landfills. The Campbell Mountain landfill service area encompasses the Okanagan Falls Demolition, Landclearing and Construction Waste Sanitary Landfill and the Keremeos Transfer Station. The RDOS Solid Waste Management Plan calls for a wasteshed approach while considering solid waste services.

The staff report to the board also included an estimate that a one container limit may reduce garbage collected by 10 per cent as compared to a two container limit. Staff noted that RDOS contractor costs were not affected by a one or two container limit, and the reduction of service from one to two containers would be in keeping with the Solid Waste Management Plan goal of increased user pay as home owners with more waste will need to purchase more ‘Tag-a-Bag’ stickers.

Staffers observed that such a change had been recognized in local Climate Change Action Plans as a way to reduce waste going to landfills.

A 2010 survey showed between 75 per cent and 80 per cent of residents place out a maximum of one container per week and would not be significantly affected by this change.

The following options were presented to the board during the Environment and Infrastructure Committee meeting for future discussion:

In  Electoral Area “D:”

– Consider “one container limit,” Bi-weekly yard waste collection and No collection of yard waste in plastic bags.”

For Electoral Areas “B” and “G”:

–  Consider one container limit and no collection of yard waste in plastic bags.”

Area “G” produces the lowest volume of yard waste for collection. Eliminating debagging services would provide a small savings for these electoral areas. Increased education on composting will be focused on these areas.

Village of Keremeos:

–  Consider one container limit”  Bi-weekly yard waste collection and No collection of yard waste in plastic bags.

Due to the comparative small lot size, citizens in the Village of Keremeos place out a significant volume of yard waste. Eliminating the de-bagging costs would help offset the costs of increased collection. The one container limit has the potential to reduce program costs; offsetting a rise in tipping fees.

Staff are in the process of meeting with directors on an individual basis in order to find out what changes, if any, they would like to see.

“It’s an attempt to offer a ‘menu’ of services,” Solid Waste Coordinator Don Hamilton said. “We understand that there is some disparity in terms of need with various municipalities and electoral areas in the regional district,” Hamilton added.

The three options being presented to directors give them some opportunity to “customize” service to their municipality or area.

Following the individual discussions, staff will calculate the associated costs for each director’s choices. Staff would then bring forward final recommendations to the Feb.2 Environment and Infrastructure Committee meeting for incorporation into the 2012 budget.