Starting in May, the Cowichan Valley Regional District will be inviting input from its nine electoral areas on the prospect of introducing three-stream curb-side garbage, recyling and organics collection in those communities.
Residents, business owners community groups, and those who have an interest in three-stream curb-side collection will be invited to participate in an engagement process.
Three-stream collection is provided in all CVRD municipalities, but the services offered to residents living in the electoral areas vary widely in that while everyone has access to curb-side recycling, only some have access to curb-side garbage and organics collection.
A CVRD report states that the population of the Cowichan Valley is expected to grow to more than 100,000 by the year 2040.
In 2021, with a population of 80,000, the CVRD shipped more than 42,000 tonnes of garbage to the landfill, which is more garbage per person than ever before.
The report said that to reduce the amount of land-filled material, the regional solid-waste management plan identified the need to provide all residents with equal access to three-stream curbside collection.
“Reducing garbage disposal is important as the Cowichan Valley does not have a local landfill, and landfill capacity is limited on Vancouver Island and the Lower Mainland,” the report said.
“As a result, garbage from the Cowichan Valley is transported via truck, barge, and rail service more than 700 km to a landfill in Washington State. Long-distance transportation of waste materials is becoming increasingly expensive and difficult due to the floods and fires associated with climate change.”
The report said that more than 30 per cent of garbage from the region contains material that could have been composted instead of land-filled.
It said in order to eventually ban organics from entering the landfill, all residents need convenient access to organics-disposal alternatives.
“While backyard composting works for some residents, residents who also have access to curbside organics collection have less compostable material in their garbage,” the report said.
“In addition, residents who have curbside garbage collection have less contamination (non-accepted materials) in their organics and recycling collection totes. Removing organics from the garbage will bring the Cowichan Valley one step closer to the ultimate goal of zero waste.”
The report said the intention of the public engagement process that begins in May is to listen and learn from the community about their ideas, priorities, concerns, and preferences when it comes to implementing three-stream curbside collection in the electoral areas to meet the solid-waste management plan’s goals.
For more information on three-stream curbside collection service, sign up for updates to learn more about the upcoming community engagement process, and find out how you can join the conversation to help plan the future of curbside collection in the CVRD, go to www.planyourcowichan.ca/curbside-collection.