Landfill hours go seasonal

The opportunity to visit two landfills may expand or shrink depending on the time of the year.

The North Okanagan Regional District has established summer and winter schedules for the Greater Vernon and Armstrong-Spallumcheen landfills.

“Hours of operation at both facilities would be increased during the summer and decreased during the winter to better match customer demand,” said Dale Danallanko, facilities co-ordinator.

Presently, the Greater Vernon and Armstrong-Spallumcheen landfills have been open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

But under the new schedule, the summer hours (March 1 to Oct. 31) for the landfills are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. From Nov. 1 to Feb. 28, the winter hours will be 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday and closed Sunday.

The new schedules at both landfills will come into effect April 1, but not everyone welcomes the change.

“I’d like to see the Saturday hours stay the same from the summer to the winter so there is no confusion,” said director Doug Dirk.

“On Saturdays, people like to get out and get things done early.”

Director Shirley Fowler protested the loss of one hour on Saturdays and the closure on Sundays, particularly in November.

“Often in November, people are still cleaning up their yards. You eliminate the ability to go in on Sundays when people are working Saturdays,” she said.

But staff defended the decision to have an earlier start in the summer and a later opening in the winter.

“The winter is cold and dark and people tend to come later in the winter,” said Danallanko.

Statistics show that 240 vehicles visit the Greater Vernon landfill on an average Saturday in August and 242 in September, but it drops to 83 in December and 94 in January.

Danallanko added that the goal is to improve customer service while not increasing the budget and it costs $200 per hour to extend the hours.

Director Mike Macnabb says landfill hours can’t meet everyone’s needs.

“We should be driven by what the public wants but if just one person wants it, we may not be able to accommodate them,” he said.