Starting in July all rural Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) and Village of Keremeos residents will no longer be able to use clear plastic bags for yard waste collection. Residents are asked to place out yard waste in reusable containers or in compostable kraft paper bags. The final yard waste collection where rural RDOS and Keremeos residents can use clear plastic bags for yard waste is scheduled for June 11 to 15, 2012.
The change follows the municipalities of Penticton, Summerland, Oliver and Osoyoos banning plastic bags for yard waste last year. The main reason for the change is the high cost to remove plastic bags from the yard waste. Cameron Baughen, RDOS Solid Waste Management Coordinator, stated that over $22,000 was spent annually by the RDOS for people to manually remove plastic bags.
“For a regular 10 kg / 22 pound bag of leaves, it costs the RDOS over 40 cents to strip off the one bag of plastic,” explains Baughen. “This is a huge cost for residents who end up paying the price for this service.”
Kraft paper yard waste bags are composted with the yard waste. Plastic yard waste bags typically end up in the garbage being too dirty to recycle.
Residents are encouraged to use reusable containers when possible. Yard waste can be put out in a clean plastic or metal can or other reusable containers. The RDOS and Village of Keremeos have free ‘Yard Waste Only’ stickers that can be placed on these cans to make sure the driver knows to collect it on yard waste day. To increase the use of reusable containers residents in Electoral Areas “D,” “E,” and “F” and the Village of Keremeos will be getting every other week collection of yard waste. Starting in July yard waste collections in these communities will alternate weeks with recycling collection.
Electoral Areas “A,” “B,” “C,” and “G” will continue receiving seasonal collections of yard waste. Curbside calendars have been included with yearly invoices showing when different collections will happen throughout the year. The new calendars run from July 1, 2012 to June 30, 2013. Residents can contact the RDOS or Village of Keremeos for extra copies.
Residents are asked to place yard waste out by 7 a.m. on their regular garbage collection day. An unlimited amount of properly contained yard waste will be accepted at the curb. Food waste, larger branches and lumber are not included in this service and should not be mixed in with yard waste. Residents can also bring yard waste to all landfills for chipping and composting. The first 500 kg (1100 pounds) of yard waste is free for every load at all facilities.
For more information on composting, landfills or curbside collection please contact the RDOS Solid Waste Department at 250-490-4129, toll free 1-877-610-3737 ext. 4129, e-mail email@example.com or visit www.rdos.bc.ca.