Garbage, Yard Waste & Organics

OVERVIEW

The Town of Comox provides three distinct curbside collection options for participating households, which include garbage, Blue Box Recycling, and organics collection (yard and kitchen waste). The waste collection service is provided by Emterra Environmental.

NEW WASTE COLLECTION SCHEDULE CHANGES IN 2021

The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) that manages the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre, has advised the Town that effective January 1, 2021 the area landfill will be closed on all recognized statutory holidays. As a result, the Town of Comox 2021 waste collection schedule will change throughout the year.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Who do I contact if my waste pick up (garbage, yard/kitchen waste and recycling) is missed?

Please call Emterra Environmental (250) 336-8066 to alert them to the missed pick up by providing your address, and/or watch for status updates on the Town's website and social media channels including Facebook and Twitter.

How often will my curbside collection day change in 2021?

Residents and businesses that receive curbside collection saw their schedule start on a different day the first full week of January 2021, and the schedule will change three times throughout the year. The pick up date will change after Good Friday (April 2, 2021), Canada Day (July 1, 2021), and Remembrance Day (November 11, 2021); your pick up date will stay on that new day until the next statutory holiday arrives (as previously noted), then your pick up day will shift again. Friday pick up shifts to Tuesdays, Wednesday and Thursdays shift ahead one day. Click here to view and print the schedule.

How do I use the Curbside Waste Collection Schedule?

To understand your schedule, find your Zone area and colour on the map, and then look for the corresponding light colour (indicates collection of curbside garbage and organic pick up) and dark colour (indicates pick up of curbside garbage, organics and recycling) on the calendar. You will note that the pick up date started on a different day the first full week of January, and then will change three times throughout the year.

Why is the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre closing on statutory holidays?

Read the news release here from the Comox Valley Regional District.

What if I manage a Strata Complex or am a Comox business?

If you are a business or strata manager that receives frontend container collection services, you may need to reschedule an alternate date with Emterra Environmental, if you have pick up dates that fall on a statutory holiday, or wait until the next scheduled pick up date for collection. If you have questions or wish to address rescheduling that may be required, please contact Emterra Environmental (250) 336-8066.

ORGANICS COMPOST PROGRAM (Yard & Kitchen Waste):

By separating food and yard waste from regular garbage, it helps reduce the production of methane, one of the more potent greenhouse gases in terms of warming the atmosphere. Further, diverting unnecessary waste from the landfill will extend the life of the current facility, rather than needing to invest in a new one, which is a significant and costly project.

Here are some helpful tips and resources:

What items can be collected?

The curbside organics collection program allows for an extensive range of kitchen waste to be collected such as dairy products, fruit & vegetables, fish & shellfish, and coffee filters, to food soiled paper from take away meals. It also includes yard trimmings such as grass, leaves and light trimmings (see full list below). All of the eligible items are picked up weekly by the same truck. View the full list of organic items that can and cannot be included here.

What bins can be used?

Kitchen Containers:

Residents can use any containers of their choosing to collect food scraps from the kitchen.

  • Re-use a large yogurt or ice cream container.
  • Purchase a kitchen container from a local retailer.
  • Use newspaper/paper bags to line your container and wrap your food scraps.
  • During hot weather, it may be advisable to freeze kitchen scraps until collection day, to help reduce odours and attracting wildlife.

Curbside Containers:

  • Both food and yard waste can be included in the same curbside container, providing it has a secure lid, and no plastic bags included (even if labelled biodegradable or compostable).
  • Containers can be lined with paper bags and/or newspaper.
  • A free Organics Compost Program label for your yard waste and organics can(s) or bin(s) can be picked up at Town Hall, 1809 Beaufort Avenue, Comox, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, Monday to Friday.

How to Keep Out Pests and Insects:

Wildlife and insects may be attracted to garbage. Keeping odours down helps avoid unwanted visitors. A few tips include:

  • Wrap food in paper bags or newsprint.
  • Freeze food scraps until collection day.
  • Containers should be cleaned regularly with mild soap or vinegar, and have tight, waterproof lids, and be kept in secure locations.
  • Curbside containers and cans should only be placed at the curb on collection day, not the night before.
  • Vinegar or baking soda are effective odour eliminators.

Unlimited Weekly Pick Up:

  • An unlimited number of containers can be placed at the curb, however, each container maximum is 77 litres in volume or 20 kilograms (44 pounds) in weight.
  • To help reduce odours, take advantage of placing your unlimited organics items at the curb weekly.
  • The same truck picks up organics and yard waste.
  • Have your organic waste at the curb by 8 am - do not put it out the night before.

To learn more about a new Regional Organics Composting facility project being undertaken by the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD), click here.

YARD WASTE

Weekly collection from single-family homes & duplexes on garbage day all year round – *unlimited quantity. Have your yard waste at the curb by 8 am – if it contains Kitchen Waste then do not put it out the night before.
The organics truck that currently collects the Yard Waste also collects the Kitchen Waste, as both are part of the Organics Compost Program.

What is an acceptable container?

  • Garbage Can with lid or a Paper Yard Waste Bag which is marked as being 100% compostable or 100% biodegradable – plastic bags are no longer permitted due to the machinery being used at the new composting facility.
  • All organics (yard & kitchen waste) containers must have a secure lid and plastic bags of any kind, are not permitted. If you want to line your container you may use a paper bag or newspaper.

*Volume & Weight Limits:
An unlimited number of containers can be placed at the curb, however, each container maximum is 77 litres in volume or 20 kilograms (44 pounds) in weight.

What are acceptable items for the container?

  • Grass, plants, flowers, leaves, sod and small amounts of soil (see details below).

Other items to place beside the container - tree prunings, hedge prunings and branches must be tied in secure bundles no longer than 90 cm. (36 in.) or wider than 60 cm. (24 in.) in diameter, or heavier than 20 kg. (44 lb.). Individual branches must not exceed 7.6 cm (3 in.) in diameter. Christmas Trees cut in half with no tinsel or decorations are treated as branches as also permissible.

What are not acceptable items for the container?

  • Rocks, stumps, flower pots, painted or treated wood, animal feces, garbage or recyclables.

Questions & Concerns should be directed to the town’s contractor Emterra (phone: 250-336-8066).


GARBAGE

Weekly Pick Up:

To view the current collection schedule for 2021 click here. Have your garbage at the curb by 8am, and do not put it out the night below.

*Volume & Weight Limits:

  • Maximum one 121 litre garbage can.
  • Cannot exceed 20 kilograms (44 pounds) and must have waterproof lids.
  • Additional can over limit will only be picked up if a garbage tag is attached. Garbage tags can be purchased from Town Hall (1809 Beaufort Avenue) for $3.00 each (no tax), Monday to Friday, 8:30 am – 4:30 pm, not including statutory holidays.

Items Not Accepted:

  • No yard waste allowed with garbage (see organics yard waste collection details above).
  • No demolition or construction material allowed. You can take these materials directly to the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) Waste Management facility in Cumberland. Click here for more information or call 250-336-8066.

Questions & Concerns should be directed to the Town’s contractor Emterra (phone: 250-336-8066).

The current 2021 Collection Calendar and Map can be viewed here.

Questions & Concerns should be directed to the town’s contractor Emterra (phone: 250-336-8066).

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Q. I thought the Town of Comox had decided to proceed with garbage collection to transition from weekly to every other week? When is that change going to occur?

A. In an effort to encourage increased organic waste collection (yard and kitchen waste) and thereby divert unnecessary organic waste from the landfill, the Town has decided to proceed to garbage waste being collected every other week, rather than weekly. However, the timing of the change is currently unknown and has been put in abeyance, as it is dependent upon the construction of a new organics processing facility by the Comox Valley Regional District. To read additional information about this item click here.


BLUE BOX RECYCLING

For detailed information about Blue Box Recycling in the Town of Comox, click here.

For additional regional recycling services, visit the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre or call 250-334-6000.

Questions & concerns should be directed to the Town’s contractor Emterra, phone, 250-336-8066.

To view other options for recycling, garbage and organics visit the Comox Strathcona Waste Management website.

Relevant Links