Courtenay residents will have a substantial schedule change for curbside trash collection beginning in January 2021. (Ben Lypka/Black Press file)

Courtenay residents will have a substantial schedule change for curbside trash collection beginning in January 2021. (Ben Lypka/Black Press file)

Courtenay moving to a zone system for curbside trash collection

New system means collection days will change with every statutory holiday

Some changes are coming to curbside trash collection for Courtenay residents in the new year.

The changes are a result of changes to regional landfill operations, as well as continued overall community growth.

Beginning Jan. 1, 2021, the regional Comox Strathcona Waste Management service will be closing landfill facilities on statutory holidays.

These closures will impact curbside collection as waste cannot be disposed at the landfill on those days.

In addition, the City is redistributing collection zone boundaries and creating an additional zone. The change will see the number of zones increase from the current four zones to a new five-zone schedule from Monday through Friday, to better serve current and future residents.

To accommodate both of these changes, the City is shifting to an “Add-A-Day” collection calendar, with curbside pickup shifting by one day after every statutory holiday.

Courtenay Mayor Bob Wells said the new collection zones will help alleviate capacity issues with the current schedule.

“We have had the Tuesday to Friday collection schedule for a very long time, and in that time Courtenay has grown substantially,” said Wells. “Our contractor has been doing their best with the current schedule but the reality is we’re experiencing an increasing number of collection delays from excess volumes, especially on Wednesdays and Thursdays. The statutory holiday landfill closures starting in 2021 are another issue, so we’re adjusting our collection schedule as of January 1 to adapt to both. ”

The City has seen significant residential growth in a number of neighbourhoods, in particular East Courtenay’s Crown Isle and West Courtenay’s The Ridge developments. The excessive waste volumes on some days are resulting in logistical and operational challenges.

With the Add-a-Day collection calendar, “day” of pickup now becomes “zone number” as collection shifts through the days of the week throughout the year. This type of calendar eliminates the need to reschedule collection for each statutory holiday.

For example, those who start the year with Monday collection would continue placing their materials at the curb each Monday until Family Day on Monday, Feb. 15, 2021. There will be no curbside collection in Courtenay on that day. After Family Day, weekly collection for this zone will shift to Tuesdays. After Good Friday on April 2, 2021, weekly collection will move to Wednesdays. This process will continue throughout the year, with collection shifting by one day after every weekday statutory holiday. In 2021 there are nine weekday statutory holidays that will impact collection in the City of Courtenay.

Wells told the Record there will be no additional City tax funds needed to make the switch.

“There is going to be an increase in cost per household, but that actually comes from the tipping fee from the Comox-Strathcona Solid Waste function, so it’s the landfill tipping fees that have gone up,” he said. “It’s not the City that is raising those rates, it’s the Solid Waste function. There is also a yearly increase that happens and that is just the solid waste contract for our collection services, so that is factored in already. We are now going into year two of a two-and-a-half-year contract. So those are all expected and budgeted costs.”

2021 Residential Waste Collection Guides will be distributed to households in late November.

To ease the transition to the new schedule, and stay on top of collection calendar changes, residents are encouraged to sign up for reminders by text, email, or phone with the Courtenay Collects mobile and web app. Learn more at www.courtenay.ca/recycling

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