The Comox Valley Regional District is again asking rural residents whether they’d like roadside garbage and recycling pickup.
In 2013, the CVRD put the question to voters, who rejected it. The main difference this time around is that it would not likely cover the entire rural area but could focus on particular parts of electoral areas.
All of these details will still need to be settled. At this point, the CVRD is trying to gauge the level of interest, so it has launched a short online survey for most residents of Electoral Area A, B and C.
While waste management is generally handled through Comox Strathcona Waste Management, which represents both the Comox Valley and Strathcona regional districts, this initiative came through the CVRD, having been put forward by the CVRD’s Electoral Area Services Committee (EASC).
“Roadside garbage and recycling collection can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase recycling and ease pressure on the local landfill, all while improving convenience and reducing costs for homeowners,” said Area C director Edwin Grieve, who chairs EASC. “Given some of the interest we’ve heard, and the opportunities available now, we felt it’s time to ask the community whether this is a new service they would support.”
Based on the most recent census results, the CVRD’s population is about 66,527 people. Of this, residents in the three electoral areas represented almost 23,000 people, or a little over a third of the population.
Not everyone in the electoral areas is being considered. For example, the survey is not happening for Mount Washington, Denman Island or Hornby Island.
“The depots on the islands are such a big part of their community,” said Sarah Willie, solid waste analyst for the region.
As well, part of Royston is not being surveyed because it is already covered by waste collection service through the regional district.
One of the first questions on the survey asks residents to identify the general area of the electoral district in which they live. This will help staff determine whether to focus efforts on particular neighbourhoods if there appears to be sufficient interest – as opposed to aiming for a broad-based service through the whole area.
The survey is only the first step. It also asks about recycling, composting and yard waste interest.
“We’ll take some time to look at the results and then be providing a report back to the Electoral Area Services Committee,” Willie said.
After that, the CVRD can set up more of a public engagement process and potentially put a question before rural voters on adding garbage and recycling collection, most likely sometime in 2021.
The CVRD has more information about the Rural Roadside Garbage and Recycling Collection project along with the survey link at connectcvrd.ca/ruralroadsidecollection. For anyone unable to complete the survey online, surveys can also be completed over the phone by calling 250-334-6016 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday to Friday.