Rural residents want authority over waste collection

Rural residents want independence when it comes to garbage collection.

Rural residents want independence when it comes to garbage collection.

A total of 678 people participated in a survey on waste and 65 per cent of those in BX-Swan Lake, BX-Silver Star and rural Lumby stated they prefer to choose who collects their garbage.

“I hope the regional district doesn’t cut into this program,” said Mike Gavinchuk, BX-Swan Lake director.

“No one wants the regional district involved.”

Regional District of North Okanagan staff have previously promoted mandatory garbage collection from one hauler, while residents in those areas presently hire a private collector on their own or go to the landfill themselves.

Rick Fairbairn, rural Lumby director, says there is no appetite for mandatory garbage collection or the service being added to the tax bill.

“We’re in a rural area and a  majority of our residents self-haul (take their own garbage to the landfill),” he said.

“It’s cost effective for them to do it that way.”

The survey addressed topics on the quantity of waste produced, preferences for waste collection, collection frequency and collection costs.

““Eighty per cent preferred collection at their home. There’s not a lot of self-haulers,” said Nicole Kohnert, engineering services manager.

Seventy-five per cent of the respondents use private haulers for collection.

About 62 per cent indicated that it is too expensive or inconvenient to haul their own waste.

Fifty-seven per cent agreed that it is not important to haul their own waste and 60 per cent of respondents preferred to pay for garbage collection as part of a utility invoice.