Comox Garbage Pick Up Schedule Change Supports Greenhouse Gas Mitigation

For immediate release August 13, 2020



Across British Columbia, communities have been making difficult decisions to promote recycling, implement organics collection programs and extend the life of extremely expensive landfills. The Town of Comox has explored its options and best practices regarding pick up of garbage, recycling, yard & kitchen waste, and like many other communities in British Columbia, recently determined to adjust the schedule.

The change would see a permanent adoption of the current trial weekly unlimited collection of organics (yard and kitchen waste), with the transition from weekly pick up of garbage, to collection every other week. The key being, weekly organic pick up allows for the majority of items that produce odours to be removed each week.

The timing on this change is currently unknown and has been put in abeyance. Implementation will be dependent upon and impacted by decisions on the construction of an organics processing facility by the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD). Prior to implementation, a full communications plan will be launched by the Town to allow residents to be fully aware of when and how the change will impact services.

The foundation of the decision can be traced back to two of Council’s strategic initiatives which include supporting the reduction and diversion of solid waste through an enhanced curbside organics collection program, and a Climate Change Adaptation Strategy. 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.

Organic waste, such as kitchen scraps and meat & bones going into landfills, leads to the production of methane, one of the more potent greenhouse gases in terms of warming the atmosphere. Removing organics from the landfill has a large impact in reducing the amount of greenhouse gases emitted from the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre.

Climate change adaptation, landfill management, and cost controls are key priorities of Council. Communities around British Columbia are moving to be greener and integrating these changes, and Comox wants to be a part of that leadership.

The curbside organics collection program allows for an extensive range of kitchen waste to be collected. This includes dairy products, fruit & vegetables, fish & shellfish, and coffee filters, to food soiled paper from take away meals, in addition to yard trimmings.

The Town is hopeful that with education around how accessible the program is, as well as the positive environmental impacts it brings, it will see increased participation in the organics program, and thereby a decrease in the volume of unnecessary materials going in the landfill.

For more information about the organics collection program visit comox.ca.

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Media Contact:

CAO Jordan Wall

Email: jwall@comox.ca

Phone: 250-339-2202

Background:

As part of a trial project, the Town of Comox has been participating since June of 2013 in the Comox-Strathcona Waste Management Regional Organics Compost Program, which includes the organics collection program.

At the time, the Town was already collecting yard waste from single family and duplex residents, therefore, this change amounted to the addition of kitchen waste to the existing yard waste program, as part of the region’s commitment to reduce the amount of residual waste going to the landfill.

The Organics Collection Program review and Climate Change Adaption Strategy are both initiatives contained within the Town of Comox 2019 Strategic Priorities.