The Silver Star waste transfer station will have new hours of operation and on-site staff, among other changes, come Aug. 1.
The Regional District of North Okanagan (RDNO) approved the changes at its regular board meeting April 22.
Following an RDNO survey seeking feedback on potential hours of operation, a traffic counter was installed at the transfer station on Jan. 28 to monitor variations in traffic volumes and identify peaks in usage.
The new hours will change seasonally and include:
- Winter Peak (Nov. 15 – April 15): Sunday to Friday, 12 – 5 p.m.
- Summer Peak (July 1 – Aug. 31): Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday, 12 – 5 p.m.
- Off-Peak (April 16 – June 30 and Sept. 1 – Nov. 14): Sunday and Friday, 12 – 5 p.m.
The district said one problem with having an unstaffed transfer station is the dropping off of inappropriate materials such as hazardous waste, as well as the large messes of mixed materials left behind and strewn throughout the facility.
With the changes, the transfer station will be operated like other RDNO diversion and disposal facilities, with staff on hand to collect payment for each load. Fees will now be based on material and weight, following the same fee structure used by other RDNO facilities. The fee structure can be found on the RDNO website.
“One of the key benefits of these changes is that the less garbage you produce, the less you will pay,” Electoral Area C Director Amanda Shatzko said. “This way, people who produce less garbage are not subsidizing the higher producers of waste.”
The RDNO is also eliminating annual billing of solid waste management fees, defined in the 2016 Silver Star Solid Waste Management Service Fees Imposition bylaw, which applies a flat yearly fee to property taxes and utility bills.
The changes also eliminate a perception of double taxation, according to the district. Silver Star residents currently pay into both the Silver Star Transfer Station Service and the Regional District Solid Waste Management Service. Come Aug. 1, they will only pay into the latter service.
The RDNO said concerns have been raised regarding non-service area users who are bringing their refuse to the transfer station to avoid paying fees at other facilities, which comes at the expense of Silver Star residents and businesses. The district said the changes will eliminate subsidizing costs associated with this activity.
Several upgrades will be made at the transfer station in preparation for the Aug. 1 changes. Access to the site will be maintained for local residents during the upgrades, the RDNO said.
A letter was sent to all Silver Star residents and businesses with information on the operational changes in December 2019, the RDNO said.
Since the Silver Star Transfer Station may not suit the needs of everyone, the RDNO reminds that the Greater Vernon Diversion and Disposal Facility (GVDDF) provides longer operating hours throughout the week and more opportunities to divert waste, such as construction materials, large appliances and scrap metal.
That said, due to the greater distance to GVDDF, the district recommends businesses and multi-family residences find ways to reduce the number of trips to the facility, such as more recycling options, organics diversion and specialized equipment for compacting and sorting waste.