Courtenay recycling expanding to multi-family dwellings

Curbside recycling pickup services in Courtenay will include multi-family and apartment buildings by 2013.

"We have had that in the residential sector for several years now and we introduced it in the downtown area last year," said City director of operational services Kevin Lagan. "The next step in the process of trying to get as many years as we can from landfills is to increase that to the apartments and multi-family complexes."

Currently, multi-family and apartment buildings don't receive any recycling service except some cardboard recycling, according to a City staff report.

The City will charge $17 per unit per year — which will be added onto the utility bill from the City — and the blue totes were bought by Courtenay with waste reduction grant money from the Comox Valley Regional District and the Strathcona Regional District, making the program cost-neutral to the City.

The program, which will allow recyclables like aluminum cans, plastic and cardboard, is set to start at the beginning of 2013. Lagan noted glass and styrofoam will not be accepted as is the case with other curbside recycling services in the City.

He expects residents will be pleased with the expanded program.

"We've had lots of inquiries from these particular sectors of the community to get into recycling, so I think it's going to be a really well-received program," he said.

According to the staff report, the Pidgeon Lake landfill in the Comox Valley has an estimated five to seven years of life remaining.

Coun. Manno Theos recounted the single-family residential program's success when it was rolled out.

"You just had to look at the success we had when everybody in Courtenay received a blue box," said Theos. "I remember going out the next day and it was a sea of blue boxes … the public responds very enthusiastically and again it just increases the diversion from the landfill."

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