The Regional District of North Okanagan prepared to fine individuals $100 if caught verbally abusing landfill staff amid COVID-19. (RDNO Website)

Limit North Okanagan landfill visits to essential trips: RDNO

Regional district reminds patrons to be respectful of staff amid high-traffic pandemic times

The landfill serving the Regional District of North Okanagan continues to experience record customer volumes resulting in long lineups and extended wait times.

Now, the RDNO is reminding all Diversion and Disposal Facilities customers to follow all COVID-19 safety protocol as high traffic is expected to continue with spring cleaning and yard maintenance.

To limit traffic and any potential exposures, people are encouraged to reconsider their trip altogether.

Municipal curbside garbage collection services should be used first as they are provided to most residents in RDNO member municipalities.

Those without curbside collection may consider hiring a waste collection contractor.

If the visit is deemed essential and cannot be avoided, the RDNO is reminding users that the number of customers permitted on site will be controlled to maintain social distancing and wait times can be up to 60 minutes in peak times, so plan ahead. Maintain physical distancing and stay at least two metres apart from other customers and follow the directions of DDF staff.

Customers are also reminded to be courteous to staff and those who fail to adhere to provincial health orders may be asked to leave.

This time last year, the RDNO established a $100 fine that could be issued to customers caught abusing staff after a series of instances involved clients verbally abusing, yelling and swearing at staff.

Community Service general manager Mike Fox called the situation “disheartening.”

Last year, the RDNO avoided issuing fines through “de-escalation techniques or by asking abusive people to leave the sites,” communications officer Ashley Gregerson said.

“In rare instances, we issued short-term bans prohibiting an offending individual from entering a site for one to six months.”

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