Fall and spring clean-up days can cut dumping

Chemainus – The new CVRD waste facility on Peerless Road is a delight to visit and is extremely generous as to what can be taken there and disposed of at no cost. It is a great investment of tax dollars.

Having said that, a problem I am finding is a lot of folks do not realize it exists, and more to the point, what can be taken there.

The Municipality of North Cowichan, the City of Duncan and CVRD need to do a better job of advertising its existence and describing what can be taken there as well as what can be taken to Bing’s Creek at no cost.

The basic requirement is, of course, that one has a car or truck to take stuff to these facilities which is not always the case. To address this I have suggested to the MNC in the past that we need some kind of spring and fall clean up days on which people can put out old fridges, freezers, stoves, mattresses, furniture etc. – i.e. stuff that could be taken to these facilities – but for one reason or another doesn’t get there. This seems to be a hard concept to grasp by local administrations.

In other municipalities in which I have lived this is a common practice.

It ends up not being as much of a burden as might be thought as these days bring out the scavengers and those who deal at yard sales and auctions making treasure out of other peoples waste long before the municipal trucks come by.

In Kitchener-Waterloo region they have evolved spring and fall clean up days through a “phone ahead any time” system and someone will come to the present day system wherein you just put it out on your regular garbage day and the regular drivers call it in for you and your waste items get picked up.

People tend to procrastinate, particularly when cost and effort are required and they become hoarders, or worse, midnight haulers and dumpers.

We have to make the system user friendly. Participation is a direct function of ease of use.

If we make it easier to use the system we will cut down on the midnight haulers. It takes less effort to take it to the end of your driveway than haul it into the back roads and bush.

Local municipalities need to start to think outside the box and make it easier for folks to manage their waste. If we don’t, this dumping issue will only get worse.

Alex Currie