Today’s Poll

Kicking it to the curb: consultation in consideration of curbside collection in rural areas

Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
By Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
February 13th, 2023

Curbside collection for household waste could be coming.

But first, people have to let the regional district know if they are in — or out — on such a service for electoral area residents (largely rural) through an online public consultation process (https://engage.rdck.ca) that ends April 21.

The online arena allows the Regional District of Central Kootenay’s (RDCK) Resource Recovery Department to share information on the service, as well as to “encourage open discussion.”

The curbside collection service — comprising garbage, recycling and organic waste — would only be offered within potential service area boundaries.

In order to participate, those eligible to do so will have an invitation postcard mailed to them with an outline of the consultation process included and the online sign-up details. 

“The online platform allows residents to fill out surveys, ask questions to staff and receive publicly posted responses, review maps and project background information, as well as engage with other members” of the community, noted an RDCK press release on the process.

Costs of the service — based on other similar, rural service programs in the province — could be from $160 to $265 per household per year, which works out to $13.30 to $22 per month.

“This cost is likely less than or similar to what an average family would pay in fuel, time, and disposal fees to self-haul their waste to a RDCK facility,” the RDCK release noted.

A favorable response to the proposed collection program would prompt the RDCK to proceed to a referendum in fall, giving people a final option to vote on the creation of the service.

Three years ago a feasibility study was conducted to find out which electoral areas could support the curbside service, with a preliminary round of consultation to see who might be interested in the program.

Potential service area boundaries were developed using local geographic considerations, driving distance to facilities able to collect organic waste, household densities, and population densities.

Further afield

• People can see if they are within the potential service area boundaries by clicking HERE on the RDCK curbside consultation project webpage.

• There is also a “frequently asked questions” section, with consultation tools, maps, a timeline, key dates and the Organic Waste Diversion Program page.

Other avenues

The RDCK is also providing the option of completing the survey over the phone or by mail.

To request either of these options, contact the RDCK’s Resource Recovery department at (250) 352-1576 or by email RRdept@rdck.bc.ca.  

Speaking of waste 

Curbside collection of waste in electoral areas is part of the RDCK’s Organic Waste Diversion Program.

The development of an organics diversion program started in 2017 as part of the RDCK’s Resource Recovery Plan. The RDCK has since received two grants, totaling over $3.7 million to kick start the program.

In 2019, the RDCK received the Organics Infrastructure Program grant, jointly funded by the federal and provincial governments, which covers two-thirds of the eligible costs of design and construction of composting facilities in both Creston and Salmo.

In 2019, the RDCK received a CleanBC Organics Infrastructure and Collection Program grant to contribute two-thirds of eligible costs for establishing curbside collection of organic waste in Castlegar, Creston and for a potential curbside service in electoral areas.

The RDCK was also successful in securing $535,000 from the Columbia Basin Trust Climate Resiliency Program to assist with education and communication for the organics diversion program and for bear-proofing measures, such as bear-resistant lids for electoral area residents should the curbside service proceed.

Source: extract from RDCK press release

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