All Regional District of Central Okanagan residents receiving curbside garbage/recycling collection will also benefit from yard waste pick up every two weeks as of March 1, 2021. The program runs until the end of December. (Black Press file photo)

All Regional District of Central Okanagan residents receiving curbside garbage/recycling collection will also benefit from yard waste pick up every two weeks as of March 1, 2021. The program runs until the end of December. (Black Press file photo)

Central Okanagan residents to benefit from yard waste pickup

Will happen every two weeks until end of December

The increasing hours of daylight is another sign that gardening season is on the way, and with that so is yard waste collection.

Starting Monday, March 1, all Regional District of Central Okanagan (RDCO) residents receiving curbside garbage/recycling collection will also benefit from yard waste pick up every two weeks until the end of December.

“Now is the time to do that pre-season check-up of your yard waste cart,” says waste reduction facilitator Rae Stewart.

“Make sure to take out any materials that don’t belong and may have landed in your yard waste cart by mistake over the winter months,” Stewart said. “Anything at all that is not yard waste and could damage equipment or compromise the composting process must be removed before you put your cart out at the curb.”

Things like:

  • plastics;
  • flower pots;
  • garbage;
  • bags of any kind;
  • pet waste;
  • recycling materials;
  • rocks, sod or soil.

Stewart adds all yard waste collected curbside is composted and given new life as a valuable soil enhancer.

Last year alone, the program collected just under 15,000 tonnes of yard waste at the curb and turned it into high-quality compost instead of it being buried at the landfill.

You’re reminded to put your yard waste out for collection by 7 a.m. on the morning of your regular garbage day. The following items are accepted in your yard waste cart:

  • Leaves, tree needles;
  • Branches, prunings – up to five centimetres (two inches) in diameter and less than one metre (three feet) in length;
  • Wood chips, bark;
  • Garden plants;
  • Fruit droppings;
  • Grass clippings.

The RDCO is hosting its annual Composter and Rain Barrel Sale March 1-31. Pre-sale orders are now being accepted and devices will be delivered to your doorstep in late April.

Boost Your Soil, Save Water

Here’s your chance to cut your garbage in half and save water.

Do your yard a big favour this coming gardening season with a new backyard composter, green cone, rain barrel or consider all three.

“Backyard composting is rewarding, resourceful and easy,” Stewart said. “You can’t beat the satisfaction of making your own useful soil enhancer for your garden, all from kitchen scraps and green matter from your yard, material you would otherwise just toss away.”

Stewart adds almost half of household waste is easily compostable.

“If you compost and recycle you could be putting as little as one or two grocery bags worth of garbage out for collection a week,” Stewart said. “That’s far less taxing on our one remaining landfill.”

The Regional Waste Reduction Office’s annual sale features backyard composters for $37 (tax included), big savings from the regular $80 retail price. It’s a pre-order sale only though, with a limited supply of 300 available, limit two per household. The pre-order sale runs March 1-31, with compost and rain barrel units delivered directly to your home in late April in time for gardening season.

An additional option this year is the Green Cone Food Digester.

The Green Cone is a great compliment to a backyard composter as it takes all the other types of food waste that can’t be put into a regular composter such as meats, bones, grains, dairy and cooked food. They can even handle small amounts of dog waste too. Green Cones can also be pre-ordered starting March 1 for $128, but only 75 are available.

And, back by popular demand, rain barrels will also be available for $80 each – a great cost saving to the regular $120 retail price.

Corinne Jackson, communications director for the Okanagan Basin Water Board and its Okanagan WaterWise program, says they’re pleased to be partnering with Waste Reduction and expect the rain barrels to go quickly. Only 200 will be available with a limit of two per household.

“There are lots of benefits to collecting rainwater for use in your yard,” Jackson explained. “Rainwater is a great source of soft, fresh, untreated water for your plants. A rain barrel can also help save you money by limiting the amount of metered tap water you use on your garden.”

For details on the composter-rain barrel sale, to place your order, view your payment options-including online payment, or simply find out more about how to compost or build your own rain barrel, visit rdco.com/compostersale or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250.

READ MORE: Yard waste pick up back on in Central Okanagan


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