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Curbside garbage pickup and recycling could be coming to parts of the Cariboo Regional District

The Cariboo Regional District is considering some big changes to its Solid Waste Management Plan

Tara Grady, the Supervisor of Solid Waste Management, says the goal is to reduce the amount of garbage that goes into the landfills.

“Overall as a region we landfill on average 42,000 tons of waste a year, so that’s Quesnel, Williams Lake, 100 Mile and all of the Regional District disposal facilities.  That works out to 640 kilograms per person per year and that is calculated by taking all of the construction demolition, commercial and residential waste that’s landfilled divided by the number of residents throughout the region.”

Gradt says the provincial average right now for waste disposal is 499 kilograms per person per year, so we’re well above the provincial average.

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She says the goal is to reduce the number in the Cariboo by 100 kilograms per person per year which works out to about 6,300 tons of waste.

Grady says one of 8 options being looked at is curbside garbage and recycling pickup.

“What we did is analyze all of the house points, the density of homes throughout the Regional District, that are close to a municipal recycling collection program and identified 19 different areas that could be eligible for curbside garbage and recycling service.  We mailed out over 7,500 direct mailers to those homes that could be eligible.”

Grady says that would include several areas in the Quesnel area.

“It’s Red Bluff, the Richbar-Dragon Lake-Kersley area, West Fraser Road, Bouchie Lake, Bouchie Creek, Pinnacles Park, that’s all one, and then there’s River Park, Quesnel-Hixon Road and the Barlow Creek-10 Mile Lake area.”

She says there will be an added cost.

“Right now every Regional District resident pays for solid waste based on their property value.  In 2023 every Cariboo Regional District paid 40 dollars per 100 thousand of assessment.  That covers our cost to manage all of our landfills and our transfer stations. They (CRD residents getting curbside collection) would be charged as a utility, so there would be an annual bill in April that would be a utility for that new service.  We’re expecting the cost to be between 9 and 14 dollars per month.”

Grady says each proposed area will get a choice.

“We still need a lot more surveys to come in from the proposed curbside collection areas. Right now we don’t have enough participation to be able to make an informed decision.  We have a link on our website at cariboord.ca/swmp where people can access our mapping page and enter their address to find out if they are in a proposed curbside area.

Grady says they also held open houses in Quesnel, Williams Lake and 100 Mile House.

Another option that they’re looking at is improved diversion and re-use centres in the region.

“A lot of people love our share sheds but unfortunately they are undersized to be able to achieve the kind of diversion and services that residents would like to see.  We’re anticipating that we could have diversion centres that would not only manage reusable household items but reusable construction materials, commercial recyclables, potentially some organics diversion, and be a storage location for furniture that is no longer in use but in perfectly good condition for someone else to utilize.”

Grady says another potential option would be multi unit building recycling.

“That’s apartment buildings in municipalities, commercial recycling because there is no private business that can manage commercially generated recyclables.”

She says other potential changes could be food waste diversion and food waste prevention, and landfill disposal bans.

“We could have folks at the landfill actually interacting with everybody and making sure that they were utilizing the recycling depot, and not disposing of their recyclables at the landfill.”

Grady says they are also looking at possible upgrades to rural sites with attendants for some of the rural transfer stations, and a user pay option.

“User pay is one of the best tools that Regional Districts have to change people’s behavior. Out of 27 Regional Districts in the province, we are one of three that does not have a full user-pay system in place.  It provides an incentive for people to remove the recyclables and the organics from their waste stream.”

Grady says they hope to make decisions on all of these options next month.

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