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Some Vancouver Island residents going on six weeks without recycling pickup

Weather, high volumes, staff shortages and equipment repairs prolong capital region delays
Recycling volume continues to pile up in some Capital Regional District neighbourhoods. Oaklands resident Rachelle Lamb shows what a five-week build-up at her Victoria home looks like. (Photo courtesy of Rachelle Lamb)

Although snow has been washed away by rainfalls in recent days, the impact of severe weather coupled with labour shortages and high material volume continues to affect curbside recycling pickup.

Victoria resident Rachelle Lamb, who lives in the Oaklands neighbourhood, said her recycling has been stacking up for weeks.

The last day of pickup in her area was Dec. 15 – she received notices on Dec. 29 and Jan. 12 that recycling would not be collected.

Normally, curbside recycling is scheduled every other Wednesday, Lamb said, and she reached out to the Capital Regional District suggesting they pick up on a Saturday to catch up.

“Since we couldn’t get picked up on the 14-day Wednesday schedule, I would think that we would be next on the list for the next time around, but that never happened,” she said. “I wish it had been treated differently and that issues around scheduling was being addressed – it just feels like it’s being swept under the rug.”

ALSO READ: How to handle recycling as wild weather hampers blue box pickup in Greater Victoria

One disruption is a minor annoyance, two disruptions are unfair and point to scheduling issues, she added.

All 10 routes have been impacted by multiple service delays and disruptions related to inclement weather, high material volumes, staffing challenges and equipment repairs over the past several weeks, said Russ Smith, the CRD’s senior manager of environmental resource management.

“Recovery efforts on Saturdays are not possible at this time because the service disruptions are regionwide and not limited to a single route,” he said.

Recovery efforts on alternate weekdays are also not possible right now as redeploying trucks or starting routes late will create more service delays and disruptions for scheduled collection days, he added.

“The CRD is working closely with Emterra, the contractor responsible for material collection, to return the blue box recycling program to normal service levels as quickly as possible.”

Efforts include temporarily bringing in an additional truck and staff from outside the region to support daily collection efforts of higher-than-normal material volumes.

Updates about ongoing services challenges are available at

ALSO READ: CRD curbside recycling collection continues to face service delays

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