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Saanich approves kitchen scrap collection by 2014

By late spring 2014, every Saanich home will receive a large green bin on wheels to collect and recycle their kitchen scraps.

Saanich council unanimously approved the new garbage collection system Monday night.

The biggest hurdle for councillors appeared to be that the switch – which will see residents separating food scraps from traditional trash and having to wheel both bins to the curb every two weeks – is the education campaign that’ll be required to change people’s habits.

“We need to be very careful about the education and the information that goes out,” said Coun. Paul Gerrard, piggybacking on a statement from Coun. Vicki Sanders about whether staff will “supervise” Saanich residents to ensure they’re separating their waste properly.

“We’ll have a significant education program to go along with the roll out,” assured Colin Doyle, Saanich director of engineering.

The other side of a high-profile education campaign is the assistance program Saanich will offer its non-able bodied residents.

“We’re going to get emails, phone calls or letters from seniors who are concerned about having to all of a sudden take their waste to the curb,” Gerrard said. “I do think we need to look at our seniors and allay their fears.”

Saanich’s solid waste services will offer assistance by allowing for backyard pickup to households where an occupant of the home is not physically able to place their cart curbside, Doyle said. More information on how to request assistance will come as part of the education campaign.

“When we first started talking (about kitchen scraps), I did think there’d be more resistance on curbside (pickup),” said Coun. Susan Brice.

“That’s going to be a bit of a hurdle for some people. … I commend staff, who’ve been able to take an issue and tailor it to Saanich residents’ needs. This implementation plan speaks to that very personalized level that the municipality will work with the residents so soon (all the collection changes will) be second nature.”

The implementation presented to council sees kitchen scrap collection not beginning for 15 months. The program will be phased in, with half of Saanich participating in kitchen scrap collection one month before the other half of the municipality.

While council expressed interest in starting it sooner, Doyle said the 15 months allows for staff to acquire contracts for the waste recycling and the purchase of new trucks and 40,000-plus collection bins.

According to the implementation plan, residents will pay between an estimated $156 and $210 for 2014 collection. The price range allows for residents to “pay as you throw,” by selecting how large of a garbage and kitchen scrap bin is required for their household.

Gerrard also noted that another benefit of the new system – where the collection carts are on wheels and the trucks have automatic lifts to dump them out – is there’s an anticipation that the number of workplace injury claims will drop from members of the waste collection crew.

As of Jan. 1, 2015, the Capital Regional District will ban kitchen scraps from Hartland landfill.

For more information on Saanich’s kitchen scraps recycling program, visit saanich.ca/services/garbage.

kslavin@saanichnews.com

 

 

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