Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen asks residents not to use landfills

Request comes in an effort to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is asking residents to use curbside collection for their yard wastes in an effort to slow the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. (City of Penticton photo)

The Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen is asking residents to use curbside garbage collection rather than dropping off their yard wastes at the landfill.

“This past weekend, there was a large spike in the number of people visiting landfills,” Karla Kozakevich, chair of the regional district board said in a news release. “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, residents are asked to use curbside collection until further notice.”

She said the Campbell Mountain Landfill near Penticton has been especially busy, with lineups blocking traffic.

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The regional district is asking the public to use residential yard waste collection services. At present, the City of Penticton is collecting unlimited amounts of properly packaged yard waste next week.

Landfill customers are asked to bring a credit card or debit card for payment, as cash will not be accepted.

Those who are self-isolating or displaying symptoms of COVID-19 are asked to follow the order from the provincial health officer and stay home.

“We understand many people are returning from their winter homes or sitting at home in isolation,” Kozakevich said. “But an unnecessary visit to the landfill can place staff and others at risk. Please listen to health professionals and follow self-isolation and physical distancing procedures.”

If landfill attendance and the associated risks cannot be controlled, the regional district will need to consider increasingly restrictive measures for managing unnecessary exposure, up to and including closing the facilities to non-commercial customers.

If additional actions become necessary, advance notice will be posted on the regional district’s website and shared with local media. For now, all regional district landfills are open during regular hours.

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