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Summerland to hold open houses about garbage collection changes

Municipality to change collection system beginning on April 2
Two open houses will be held on the changes to Summerland’s garbage collection service. (Summerland Review file photo)

The Municipality of Summerland will hold two open houses on the upcoming changes to its curbside collection program.

The first open house will be on Thursday, Feb. 29 and the second will be on Tuesday, March 12. Both will be upstairs at the George Ryga Arts and Culture Centre, 9525 Wharton St. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with a presentation at 6:30 p.m., including a time for questions.

The open houses are in advance of a change to Summerland’s curbside collection program.

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Beginning April 2, food scraps and yard waste will be collected each week. Residents will be able to place all food scraps and soiled paper in with their yard waste, in the same green-lidded carts. At present, the yard waste bins are collected every two weeks.

In addition, garbage other than food scraps and yard waste will be collected every two weeks. This is a change from the present system where garbage is collected each week.

Crews will continue to collect recyclables every two weeks.

Summerland will be the first community in the South Okanagan to start collecting food scraps weekly and collecting garbage every two weeks. However, other communities in the province have already implemented regular collections of food scraps.

In a report to the Summerland council in January, Cameron Baughen, environmental services coordinator, said more than two-thirds of British Columbians already have access to residential food waste collection programs.

According to information from the municipality, communities which have implemented food scrap collection programs have had a 40 per cent drop in garbage collected, and a corresponding increase in food scraps, recycling and food waste.

When the food waste program was introduced in January, Graham Statt, Summerland’s chief administrative officer, said the change would reduce pressures on the Summerland landfill.

At present, up to 30 per cent of Summerland’s garbage is organics, he said.

In addition to the two open houses, the municipality is planning other methods to provide information about the new collection system.

In March, the community will distribute kitchen catcher units to households in Summerland.

The municipality is also producing a video about the new service.

The Clean BC — Organics Infrastructure and Collection Program has provided two-thirds of funding, up to $451,639, for the implementation of a curbside food waste collection program. The remaining one-third of the costs will come from existing reserves.

John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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