There is strong support for the implementation of three-stream curbside collection in the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s electoral areas, according to input received during the public engagement process on the issue that began in May.
Residents, business owners, community groups, and those who have an interest in three-stream curbside collection — which is organics, recycling and garbage — in the nine electoral areas were invited to participate in the engagement process, which included an online survey, virtual workshops, focus groups and one-on-one interviews.
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 curbside recycling, only some have access to curbside garbage and organics collection.
In total, 469 participants from the electoral areas shared their ideas and input during the engagement process.
A CVRD report on the results found that the majority of participants see three-stream curbside collection as beneficial to the community at large, as well as being a benefit to their households.
But the report pointed out that the main concerns that were raised are the costs and delivery of the service, and whether it would make more economic sense to have the service provided by a private firm or have a mixed service shared between the CVRD and a private operator.
“It was acknowledged that ‘pay-as-you-go’ options and other creative solutions need to be considered to keep costs down,” the report said.
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.
To reduce the amount of land-filled material, the CVRD’s regional solid-waste management plan identified the need to provide all residents with equal access to three-stream curbside collection.
The next step is for the CVRD to draft curbside collection service designs to reflect the values, priorities and needs of the community based on the feedback that was provided.
When the curbside service options have been developed, the CVRD will present them to the public for more feedback.
“Stay tuned in the fall for more engagement on three-stream curbside collection,” the report said.
“Thank you to everyone who participated in this early stage of engagement.”