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Cumberland considers app for solid waste service info

The village could partner with regional district on getting the technology
Cumberland is looking toward an app to help residents get information about solid waste collection. File photo

Cumberland hopes an app will help residents sort out the confusion around solid waste pick-up.

Council supported a motion at the April 25 meeting to look into using the ReCollect app that would provide quick, online information for people about their collection service.

Cumberland is following the lead of Courtenay, which started using an app a few years ago to provide information for residents, as have other communities. In this case, the village would be looking to join up with the region.

“We still have an opportunity to partner with the CVRD,” manager of operations Rob Crisfield told council.

RELATED STORY: Solid waste pickup delayed in Cumberland this week

The matter of solid waste pick-up has caused some confusion, particularly last summer, as staffing shortages led to pick-up delays throughout the Comox Valley.

The app technology has the ability to provide messaging for users and collect data for the local government.

“We can use it for other sorts of reporting,” Crisfield said. “It’s also a good communication tool.”

The app not only helps provide information about scheduling but also about how different items are handled through the “what goes where” feature, or it can send notices about service disruptions due to weather or reminders about when to put out material for collection.

If Cumberland and the CVRD join forces on the project, the cost for both would be $10,444. With cost-sharing based on the number of customers, the village’s portion would amount to 58 per cent. To pay for the service, the village already receives funding from Recycle BC for public education and administration, while any additional funds required could come from solid waste collection reserves. Staff do not expect any additional funds to be needed for the service.

Coun. Gwyn Sproule did have concerns about relying too heavily on technology to send out information about solid waste pick-up and recycling as not all users get information this way, but Crisfield said they can also rely on traditional means of communication.

“We can still send out printed notices if we want,” he said.

Courtenay started using the app a few years ago, and in a news release from January 2019, it said the technology had proven popular with residents. While there were still some complaints about pick-up itself, the online reviews of the app have been generally positive.

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