Public input about rural roadside collection is required.

Rural roadside collection remains a possibility in Comox Valley

The regional district requires public feedback about rural roadside trash/recyclables collection and the opportunity to create a service area.

Results of a 2013 referendum on a similar proposed service suggest that not all residents favour roadside collection, but many continue to request the service.

“Proceeding with a service area that encompasses the entire electoral area will have the least chance of success in approval,” a staff report states.

Denman and Hornby islands, both under the minimum of 5,000 residents, do not meet Recycle BC criteria to support funded roadside collection of recyclables. Depots on the islands are a big part of the community structure, and “supplementing with a roadside recycling service would likely reap little reward.”

“I sure wish we had garbage pickup,” Area A director Daniel Arbour said at the May 11 Electoral Area Services Committee meeting. “If we go from 1,500 (people) to four or 5,000, many people are starting to freak out that the garbage situation on Hornby will not work.”

Creation of a service area that is built around or includes Area B is supported by a high population density and proximity to municipal collection routes. Area B has a population of 7,100 residents and a density of 0.56 households per hectare, meeting Recycle BC criteria. Area C is a “bit more sporadic,” said Sarah Willie, solid waste analyst.

“We should be having less garbage,” Area B director Arzeena Hamir said. “I find that people who can’t do bi-weekly is because their garbage is full of recycling.”

“There’s always bad actors out there,” Willie said.

Public input about rural roadside collection will be conducted via mail to about 9,500 homes in spring and summer. The committee can expect feedback by the fall or winter.

Area C director Edwin Grieve notes the Arden-Lake Trail corridor in Areas A and C are densely populated, and should therefore be included in the mailout.

Private recycling depots, which closed around March 18, have re-opened in Courtenay and Comox. The un-staffed Canex Comox Strathcona Waste Management depot in Comox will remain open until July 2021.

Early April, 84 Return-It depots closed in B.C.

“We’re down now to only 21 depots, with 11 of those on Vancouver Island,” Willie said. “Some great strides have been made to be able to re-open that network.”

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