Proposed Rural Roadside Garbage and Recycling Collection Service

Following the results of the recent Unified Alternative Approval Process (AAP), the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) Board has decided not to further pursue establishing a rural roadside garbage and recycling collection service at this time.

Through this process, the CVRD sought elector approval to establish a waste collection service for rural residents, split into three service areas. The AAP, which closed July 5, 2021, allowed for residents and homeowners to submit an elector response form in order to voice their opposition. Approval was not obtained, as more than 10 per cent of the eligible electors submitted opposition forms within all three proposed service areas, with the results ranging between 12 and 16 per cent.

For more information about what we heard from the community during this process, please visit the CVRD's website.

Following the results of the recent Unified Alternative Approval Process (AAP), the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) Board has decided not to further pursue establishing a rural roadside garbage and recycling collection service at this time.

Through this process, the CVRD sought elector approval to establish a waste collection service for rural residents, split into three service areas. The AAP, which closed July 5, 2021, allowed for residents and homeowners to submit an elector response form in order to voice their opposition. Approval was not obtained, as more than 10 per cent of the eligible electors submitted opposition forms within all three proposed service areas, with the results ranging between 12 and 16 per cent.

For more information about what we heard from the community during this process, please visit the CVRD's website.

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  • I too am disappointed we are not proceeding with a 21st century service used by most of the civilized world. I find it odd that the "democratic" process used started with a majority in the survey saying they were in favor and then during the approval phase a minority opposition stopped the project.

    EHTien asked 12 days ago

    Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts. Through this process we heard a wide range of perspectives on this topic, and responded to hundreds of questions from engaged citizens, both for and against the proposed service. For more information on the feedback we received please visit www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/ruralroadsidecollection.

    Staff are now considering next steps and will be bringing a report back to the Electoral areas Services Committee in the coming months. Your feedback will be logged and provided to staff for their consideration in drafting this report.

  • I'm super disappointed with the decision to not proceed with waste and recycling pick up. Some of the comments regarding 'others' picking up the cost are utter nonsense - we live in a community and this is an essential community service for many. Equally, we already pay Waste Management $450 a year to collect garbage only. By those numbers along this is a cost reduction, and that's before you calculate the cost in time and money and to the environment to run the recycling to Courtenay from Merville. What a shame that these short sighted, tight fisted residents with too much time on their hands have scuppered these plans that would benefit the whole community. When is the next opportunity to revisit this decision?

    MrTea asked 17 days ago

    Thank you for taking the time to express your thoughts. Through this process we heard a wide range of perspectives on this topic, and responded to hundreds of questions from engaged citizens, both for and against the proposed service. For more information on the feedback we received please visit www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/ruralroadsidecollection.

    Staff are now considering next steps and will be bringing a report back to the Electoral areas Services Committee in the coming months. Your feedback will be logged and provided to staff for their consideration in drafting this report.

  • In the interim, prior to commencement of curbside recycle pick up. Where exactly are we supposed to dispose of recyclables, since both centres at the Courtenay market and Cannex have been discontinued? This leaves no alternatives to Area B residents to recycle, closer than 15-20km?

    Jody asked 28 days ago

    Hello Jody, thanks for your question. There are recycling depots within close proximity to Area B residents, including the Courtenay Return-It Depot at 493 Puntledge Road, Courtenay; and the Comox Return Centre at 678 Anderton Road, Comox, each about 5 km from the former CSWM depot locations. These are Recycle BC supported locations, which accepted even more materials than the unstaffed CSWM depots did. Visit www.cswm.ca/depots to check out all depot locations in the region and learn more. Thank you.

  • Hello. I am interested in the administration costs of the RD's garbage collection proposal. How much will it cost to administer this program. There would be a number of employees required to handle the billing and collection of the fees as well as the administration of the program (ie. there will be exemptions to process, changes of property ownership to be recorded, endless questions from the public about who is subject to the fees etc.). How many employees do you expect to have to hire in order to complete these administrative functions, what will be the costs involved and have these costs been factored in to the estimated fees of garbage pick up? How do you intend to account for the operations of the garbage pick up service? Will the revenues and expenses be set out in a separate cost center in the RD's financial statements?

    Allen asked about 2 months ago

    Hello Allen, thank you for your questions. The CVRD currently runs a rural roadside service for collection of garbage and recycling for the residents of Royston - Royston Garbage Collection, Function 366. The costs for this service are broken out and available on page 154 of the 2021-2025 Adopted Financial Plan https://www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/about/finance/2021-2025-adopted-financial-plan. The tipping fees and contracted collection make up 88% of the 2021 budgeted expenses for the Royston service. The other 12% is made up of education, postage, advertising, insurance, legal fees, reserve contributions and staff costs. When determining the breakdown of costs of the rural roadside waste collection service, this would be a good comparative to use.

    How many dwellings are participating in the service will be a big factor to the resources needed to support the service, and that won’t be known until after the AAP is completed in July. The expanded rural service collection would be a separate function, or possibly more than one function depending on how staff proceed. However the same level of transparency and granularity that is available for the Royston service currently is expected to be provided to the public for the expanded service collection. Administration, staffing and delivery costs have all been factored into the draft budget for the cost estimate exercise that supported the estimated $200-$250 per year.

  • Hello, I am wondering why the new proposal does not contemplate the separate collection of organic waste (yard and kitchen waste), that offered in the Town of Comox and Cilliqge of Cumberland

    Matthew asked about 2 months ago

    Thank you for your question Matthew. Currently, the Town of Comox and the Village of Cumberland have curbside organics collection programs in place as part of an organics collection pilot program ongoing at the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre. Beginning this year, a new regional organics composting facility will be built at the Campbell River Waste Management Centre which, once operational, will initially be available to participating municipalities (Courtenay, Comox, Cumberland, Campbell River). We will be reviewing the potential of a residential food waste drop-off location at the landfill in Cumberland with our operations staff. If a waste collection service is established in the rural areas, we may consult with residents in the future on the possible addition of food scraps diversion.

  • I now have garbage pickup weekly with recycling every two weeks - I would prefer to pay more and continue to have weekly garbage pickup. It is difficult to safely store garbage for two weeks in a way that won't attract bears, raccoons and rodents. While I have a garage with very limited space many of my neighbours, in fact most, do not have out buildings in which to store two weeks of garbage. We have already had several instances of bears getting into garbage here in Union Bay and it is getting worse. Please consider weekly pickup to avoid this problem.

    Renee asked about 2 months ago

    Thank you for your comment Renee. The CVRD provided the proposed service level of garbage and recycling collection every two weeks based on feedback in the fall 2020 survey, where we asked residents their preferences in number of cans and frequency of collection. While we do recommend that residents store their waste containers in an enclosed structure like a secure garage or shed until the morning of collection, those without may use garbage and recycling containers with well fitted lids to reduce animal attractants as well as water accumulation and windblown litter. Based on the experience of other Vancouver Island communities, as well as feedback from our residents, picking up garbage every other week is not expected to result in an increase in wildlife conflicts.

  • for seasonal yard waste is pickup - max 6 bags.. is there an additional cost..? what type of bag is accepted? must i buy The Bag ?

    leroy asked about 2 months ago

    Thank you for your question Leroy. The yard waste collection would be included in this service, it would not be an added cost. You would be able to use kraft paper waste bags, or your own containers (plastic, rubber, or steel) which would be emptied out by the hauler and left empty. If using your own containers they would just need to be clearly labelled ‘Yard Waste’.

  • Why are you solving a problem that doesn't exist? I get that some people want the rest of us to share the cost of their garbage collection, and I do get that some people have neighbours that can't handle simple tasks responsibly, but these miscreants won't trouble to use the service properly anyways and wouldn't enforcement of bylaws be a better solution to nuisance behaviour? Do you know that this theoretical $250 is a 20% tax increase for many? Where did you get the peculiar estimates and frequency of MY present cost?? It's $40 a year by my reckoning and I could do it with less.

    NotNeedingIt asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your comments. Our goal is to make waste diversion as easy as possible for as many residents as we can, so that collectively, our community can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase recycling diversion and reduce yard waste burning to improve air quality. It is a fine balance to find a one-size-fits-all roadside waste collection solution as the proposed service area covers eligible properties from Black Creek down to Mud Bay, a wide range of demographics. As such, the CVRD provided the proposed service level based on resident feedback in the fall 2020 consultation process to best meet the needs of service recipients.

    Costs are certainly highly variable depending on personal preferences, and not everyone will be paying the same for their current waste management. Our cost estimates were determined based on a review of current contracting fees of private haulers in the region, which ranged from $487 and $550 per household each year. This range is based on two collections of garbage per month, not including recycling. While it may not be the same for everyone as you have pointed out, for most residents this service will improve convenience and reduce costs, which will help us keep more waste out of the landfill overall as we support residents in the better management of their waste.

    If you are not in support of the service, you are able to register your opposition to the initiative by completing an Elector Response Form and submitting it to the Corporate Legislative Officer during the public assent period (June 3 - July 5, 2021). For more details visit www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/aap.

  • If we are away for any length of time, including a couple months snow riding, do we still have to pay the full amount?

    isdavep asked 2 months ago

    Thanks for you for your question. If you are away, you would still need to pay the full amount. The CVRD has no way of knowing whether a property is occupied or not and the administrative work required to keep track of occupancy would be significant and undermine the efficiency of delivering a consolidated service. There is no option to turn your service ‘on and off’ and pay for only portions of the year.

  • If one of the three areas in question here has more no's than yes's will it be exempts from the roadside collection service or will the result depend on total votes from all three areas combined?

    WendyQ asked 2 months ago

    Thank you for your question. Each initiative included in this spring’s unified Alternative Approval Process is treated completely separately, including the 3 proposed waste collection services. It does not combine total submitted opposition forms for each proposed collection service area, or merge results for these different areas.

    For each separate proposed service area, if less than 10 per cent of eligible electors register their opposition, the Regional District Board may choose to proceed with that proposal. If 10 per cent or more of the eligible electors oppose a proposal in the time period provided, the Board can seek the approval of the electors by way of a referendum or it can choose to abandon the initiative. Please let us know if you have any further questions.