Garden waste is not included in the Regional District of Nanaimo’s automated curbside garbage collection. (PQB News file photo)

Garden waste is not included in the Regional District of Nanaimo’s automated curbside garbage collection. (PQB News file photo)

Director wants Regional District of Nanaimo to look at collecting yard waste

Another director suggests promoting programs that educate property owners on composting

The Regional District of Nanaimo’s automated garbage collection services does not include yard and garden waste, but a director is asking about the possibility of providing that type of service in the future.

Qualicum Beach director Teunis Westbroek suggested the RDN review the new services after a year in operation and look at the possibility of including yard and garden waste.

Westbroek cited as an example the City of Nanaimo’s garbage collection service, which includes certain types of yard waste such as leaves and grass. He said it is worth it to find out how Nanaimo does it and whether the RDN can also implement such a service.

“I think we should look at what the cost would be and only those people that participate should pay for the increased in cost,” said Westbroek. “It doesn’t get shared by the regional district or people that don’t want to use it and don’t need it.”

Westbroek doesn’t see any reason why the regional district shouldn’t look into the matter.

READ ALSO: RDN looks at providing $103,000 for clothing recycling on Gabriola Island

“The people are willing to pay for it,” said Westbroek. “I think this is a reasonable thing to do. I have seen people packing their yard waste in their cars, in trunks, in vans going to the transfer stations. There’s more traffic and it cost probably more if you do it that way than you pay more for a bin. So can we take another look at that at some point.”

Ben Geselbracht, the chair of the solid waste management select committee, said the RDN, in establishing the automated garbage collection, completed a comprehensive report that include yard and garden waste collection, its corresponding cost and challenges. He asked other directors if there’s a dire need for this service in their areas.

Lantzville director Mark Swain indicated that the board has spent a significant amount of time debating this when the switch to an automated garbage collection system was being considered.

“That ship has sailed,” said Swain, who suggested the RDN promote programs that will educate property owners on composting.

Garden waste collection was one of the frequently asked questions when the RDN was switching to an automated service. But based on consultations and surveys, support for introducing this service was varied and did not provide a clear indication of preferred service by a majority of users. The RDN board decided not to include the in the curbside collection service.

READ MORE: Parksville residents sour with RDN response addressing garbage cart replacement requests

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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