By ROY WOOD
Osoyoos residents who thought they’d dodged the bullet on roadside trash-collection carts might be in for a disappointment following a recent announcement from Recycle BC.
The organization responsible for residential packaging and paper recycling in the province said in late June that recycling blue bags are being phased out.
In a report to Osoyoos council today, operations director Jim Dinwoodie said: “Recycle BC is proposing to eliminate the use of blue bags for curbside collection by the year 2020.
“All curbside collection will be required to be placed in containers, although recycling is allowed to be comingled in one container.”
This news comes almost exactly a year after council decided to sign a five-year contract with Waste Connections Canada (WCC) for curbside collection of garbage, yard waste and recycling.
That contract deliberately does not include the use of containers.
Council made their decision July 17, 2017 after a lively debate, with some councillors viewing the container system as step into the future while others noted the objections of some residents to the heavy and bulky carts.
Town staff recommended the cart system. Dinwoodie said at the time: “The trend in (the) industry is toward the automated cart curbside collection since it provides quicker pickup and fewer work safety issues.”
The road ahead for Osoyoos is not clear. Dinwoodie’s report noted: “In order to accommodate Recycle BC’s proposed service change (the town) would have to renegotiate with (WCC) for the use of containers for curbside collection. The cost of this service upgrade is unknown at this time.”
The WCC contract has been a valley-wide issue. Penticton, Oliver and Summerland use the curbside carts while Osoyoos, Keremeos and the regional district retain the manual system.