With the coming launch of Vernon’s curbside organics collection program this spring, garbage collection will be reduced to every other week.
Mayor Victor Cumming recently announced that all residences that currently receive automated curbside garbage collection will also be part of the organics collection program, which is expected to begin May 1.
Once the program is up and running, organic materials will be collected weekly. At that same time, residential garbage collection will move to a bi-weekly service.
The decision to transition to bi-weekly garbage collection was first announced at council’s Dec. 13 meeting and is based on waste management studies in communities similar to Vernon.
According to the Compost Council of Canada, about one third of residential waste in B.C. is organic kitchen food scraps and yard waste.
“The purpose of the new organics collection program in Vernon is to divert that waste from landfill. Once the organics program begins, we expect to see a reduction in the volume of material being placed in garbage carts. Therefore, weekly garbage collection is expected to be no longer required,” said Cumming.
The city found encouraging data on organic waste diversion by looking at other B.C. municipalities. The City of Kamloops reportedly diverted 32,500 kilograms of organic waste from the landfill in the first three weeks of its curbside organics collection pilot program which began in September 2021.
“This is the kind of positive result we’re looking for in Vernon,” said Cumming. “It will mean we’re taking specific and practical action on climate change as a whole community. More organics diverted from landfill mean lower greenhouse gas emissions. It’s as simple as that. Diverting organics will also substantially extend the life of our waste disposal site and considerably lower costs over time.”
Cumming said the shift to bi-weekly garbage service makes good economic and environmental sense for Vernon.
More information will be available over the next few months regarding the new scheduling. An updated waste collection schedule will be given to residents before the changes take place in May.
The city says it is not currently taking requests to change the size of garbage carts.