April is Community Clean-up month - March 22, 2021
April 1 marks the official kick off to Community Clean-up month. This annual program of the Regional District of Central Okanagan encourages residents do some spring cleaning in their own neighborhoods. And while things may look a little different this year in terms of the size and types of groups that can tackle projects, some good work is still possible. (View Community Clean-up month poster)
The RDCO Waste Reduction Office supports Community Clean-up month by supplying cleanup gear to participants:
- Garbage pickers where available
Once a cleanup is completed, it also arranges to have the collected waste picked up.
This year due to strict COVID constraints, residents wishing to tackle a cleanup must follow all public health guidelines:
- Only come together in your small family bubbles
- Wear masks and protective gear
- Keep your distance
- Do a cleanup in your own neighborhood
Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart says this program has been going on for the last twenty years, illustrating the dedication and commitment of our community. “This year is for sure different in that we can’t gather in large groups to do some collective larger spring cleaning projects. But, we can get together in our small family groups, head outdoors for a few hours or less, whatever you have time for, and do a spring blitz. We’ve already heard from a number of families that want to channel some pent up energy in a positive way. All these small acts combined can really make a difference. You know what they say, many hands make light work.”
Stewart adds over the years, literally thousands of residents have participated in Community Clean-ups, from families and friends to schools, church groups and service organizations
If you would like to arrange your own family-friendly, socially distanced Community Clean-up event, contact the Regional Waste Reduction Office by emailing email@example.com or call 250-469-6250.
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Yard Waste Collection Returns March 1 - February 19, 2021
The increasing hours of daylight is another sign that gardening season is on the way, and with that so is yard waste collection. Starting Monday, March 1 all residents receiving curbside garbage/recycling collection will also benefit from yard waste pick up every two weeks until the end of December.
“Now is the time to do that pre-season check-up of your yard waste cart,” says Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart. “Make sure to take out any materials that don’t belong and may have landed in your yard waste cart by mistake over the winter months. Anything at all that is not yard waste and could damage equipment or compromise the composting process, must be removed before you put your cart out at the curb.” Things like:
- flower pots
- bags of any kind
- pet waste
- recycling materials
- rocks, sod or soil
Stewart adds all the yard waste collected curbside is composted and given new life as a valuable soil enhancer--so it’s important to keep it free of any materials that could contaminate the end product or damage equipment. Last year alone the program collected just under 15,000 tonnes of yard waste at the curb and turned it into high quality compost instead of it being buried at the landfill.
You’re reminded to put your yard waste out for collection by 7:00 am on the morning of your regular garbage day. The following items are accepted in your yard waste cart:
- Leaves, tree needles
- Branches, prunings - up to 5 centimetres (2 inches) in diameter & less than one metre (3 feet) in length
- Wood chips, bark
- Garden plants
- Fruit droppings
- Grass clippings
To determine your yard waste collection week, please refer to the Living Greener Calendar at rdco.com/recycle or download the Recycle Coach app at rdco.com/recyclecoach. This free app gives you collection schedule info and a “What goes where” search feature in the palm of your hand!
Additional 360 litre yard waste carts can be purchased from your municipality. For additional yard waste carts and collection options, contact your municipality or follow the yard waste link at rdco.com/yardwaste.
Please Note: During the Spring season ramp up, delivery of new and replacement carts can take longer to process due to limited current inventory and seasonal high demand.
If you are interested in purchasing the finished compost GlenGrow from the Glenmore landfill please visit Okanagancompost.ca or call 250.469.8868.
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Recycle your Cooking Oil - October 7, 2020
Do you deep fry your turkey, or make fish and chips and you’re not sure how to handle all the leftover oil or kitchen grease drippings? Don’t pour it down the drain, recycle it!
The Regional Waste Reduction Office reminds you there’s a place for you to get rid of all that leftover household cooking oil and congealed grease—in West Kelowna at the Westside Residential Disposal and Recycling Center, and at the Glenmore Landfill in Kelowna. The grease collection program is a partnership with McLeod’s By-Products of Armstrong.
Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart says cooking oils and grease from roasting, frying and baking can collect in and clog your drains-and harm the environment in the process.“ You don’t want to pour this greasy stuff down your drain, it can congeal, block your pipes, and create a real mess. Dumping it in your yard isn’t a good option either, it’s harmful to the environment -- when it rains the oily residue runs off into the storm drain, eventually reaching our waterways without treatment.”
If you have larger volumes of cooking oil, you can pour it into the receptacles provided at the Westside Recycling Center or Glenmore Landfill. If you have congealed grease, it’s recommended you put it in a metal can or container and drop the whole metal container into the recycling receptacle provided. As a reminder, please do not place anything other than cooking oil and kitchen grease into the recycling containers provided, no petroleum oil such as motor oil, no food items, plastic containers, or garbage. Keep in mind the drop off is for residential use only, not businesses, and limits do apply (no more than two 20 litre buckets at a time).
Dave Ward, Plant Manager with McLeod’s By-Products says your repurposed kitchen leftovers will end up as a food source all over again. “Once the cooking oils and grease are collected, we mechanically remove the solids and moisture, heat the oils at a very high temperature, then stabilize them with an antioxidant. We then sell the finished product to feed mills where they formulate it into various feeds for chicken, turkey and hogs.”
If you must toss your kitchen oils and grease, here are a few simple tips to follow before placing them in the garbage:
- make sure to put them in a heat resistant container with a sealable lid, then throw in the trash
- or mix with unscented kitty litter, sawdust or sand to solidify the oil first and then dispose
- or store the oil for later use, oil can be kept for up to six months and reused-first strain then store in the freezer
Please note: for larger volumes of grease from commercial producers, please contact McLeod’s By-Products directly to make arrangements for recycling.
For more info on recycling your household fats, oils and grease, visit rdco.com/recycle, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250.
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