Residents are asked to bring only essential garbage to the three landfill sites and 14 waste transfer stations in the region, including Grohman, during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Essential means things that are going bad or attracting pests,” says Amy Wilson, waste manager for the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) which runs the sites.
People who live in areas such as Nelson with curbside garbage pickup should not bring waste to the Grohman transfer station, she says. Garbage is picked up at curbside in Nelson every two weeks.
“I’m not aware of household waste that cannot be stored for two weeks,” Wilson says. “Putrescible waste can be stored in the freezer to prevent odours.”
Wilson says they will have only one attendant at Grohman at a time and are limiting the number of vehicles unloading to keep proper distancing.
“This is making the site traffic slower than normal, so any reduction in traffic is helpful,” she says.
There is no charge for disposal of essential waste. Wilson says this is to free up staff from having to handle money and debit machines.
“A lot of our sites don’t have running water and we were faced with a shortage of hygiene and sanitation supplies,” she says.
“Some of our sites like Grohman see hundreds of customers a day and they were not going to be able to keep up with their own protection and the protection of the public.”
Wilson said yard waste is not being accepted, unless delivered by a commercial hauler that has an account with the RDCK. Such people can bring any of the materials that they normally do.
“While isolation at home is a great opportunity to do yard work, purge your closets, or complete renovations, waste materials from these projects can remain at home for now,” a notice on the RDCK website states.
The site also contains this list of rules:
• The RDCK will no longer accept any payments from residents who wish to dispose of waste and recyclables at their facilities (excluding Edgewood and Burton).
• Residential loads will be limited to household garbage only, and no bulky items will be accepted. They will accept up to one pick-up truck load (or equivalent) maximum per week per customer.
• Commercial loads will continue as per normal. They will still accept all material types and charges will placed on accounts. During this time, receipts will not be provided. If you wish to set up a commercial account, contact the RDCK.
• Site staff have the right to refuse any load that contains prohibited items or does not meet the limitations above.
• Site staff will use social distancing protocols to allow two metres of distance between themselves, their colleagues and the public. This will include restricting the number of users on site.
• Please keep a minimum of two metres away from other customers and staff when dropping off waste.
• Free stores are closed.