Waste Reduction Office - What's New

Changes to distribution of 2021 Living Greener Calendars - January 11, 2021

If you’d like to get your hands on a copy of the 2021 Living Greener Waste Collection Calendar, please note calendars will not be available at the usual community pick up locations this year. Only a very limited number of printed copies are available, and at Municipal halls only.

The Regional Waste Reduction Office has implemented the changes in distribution primarily to limit points of contact due to COVID-19. In addition the aim is to reduce unnecessary paper consumption and paper waste, and promote alternate means of delivering the calendar information to residents

All Information contained in the calendar, including garbage, recycling and yard waste collection schedules, depot locations, waste reduction events, and what can be recycled where can all be found on the free to download and easy to use Recycle Coach App for smart phone devices. The 2021 “At a Glance Collection pullout page” featuring an easy to reference collection schedule for the entire year, and the full calendar can also be downloaded or reviewed on our website at rdco.com/recycle

For those residents unable to head out into the community to pick up a calendar at their local Municipal Hall, and unable to use the web or smart phone apps, please contact the Regional Waste Reduciton Office for assistance. Please be advised that we do not have plans to direct mail calendars out in the future.

For further information on the Living Greener Calendar or other waste reduction programs, visit rdco.com/recycle, or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250.

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Chip Your Tree - December 22, 2020

When you take down your natural Christmas tree after the holidays, keep in mind you can dispose of it in an eco- friendly way and have it chipped.

The RDCO Waste Reduction Office recommends giving your tree another life by dropping it off at any one of the convenient free Chip It locations. Your tree will then be chipped and composted into a nutrient rich soil enhancer called GlenGrow available at various locations including the Glenmore Landfill.

Please remove all decorations and tinsel before recycling your tree, plus any plastic bags or other materials used for transporting--all of these interfere with the composting process.

If you don’t want to haul your tree to a drop off location, you can also cut it down to size and put the pieces in your yard waste cart for pick up once yard waste collection resumes March 1. Keep in mind the pruning’s’ and branches must not be longer than 5cm (2in) in diameter and less than 1 meter (3ft) long.

Christmas tree drop-off locations December 26 through January 31 are:

Kelowna and Area:

Ben Lee Park (parking lot at Houghton Road)

Lequime Road (at Gordon, behind the Capital News Centre)

(Note: the former drop-off areas at Rowcliffe/Richter and Cook Road are no longer operational)

Glenmore Landfill (Glenmore Road)

Open Monday-Sunday 7:30 am – 4:45 pm. 

Closed Dec 25th, 26th and Jan 1st

(*3 tree limit)

West Kelowna and Peachland:

Westside Residential Waste Disposal and Recycling Center (Asquith Road)

Open Friday-Monday 7:30 am – 3:50 pm.

Closed Dec 25th and Jan 1st

Lake Country:

Jack Seaton Park (1950 Camp Road)

For more information on tree chipping or holiday recycling, visit rdco.com/recycle, download the free Recycle Coach App (Google Play or App store), email recycle@rdco.com or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250.  

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Curbside Collection in Winter Conditions - November 9, 2020

With another blast of snow and winter conditions expected this week in the Central Okanagan, residents are asked to be patient with curbside waste collection during excessive winter weather events.

Whenever there’s a heavy snowfall, excessive inclement weather and icy roadways, if your garbage, yard waste or recycling collection is missed on your regular collection day, please leave your carts out until they’re picked up and emptied.

The Regional District Waste Reduction Office says safety is paramount, not only for collection staff and their vehicles, but also for residents. Slippery un-plowed roads may not be safe for large collection vehicles. The first priority is to clear roads to make them safe for curbside waste collection. 

As well, to help both road clearing and waste collection staff, please place your carts as close to the street as possible, without blocking the street, sidewalk or bike lanes or impeding snow ploughs.  Carts should not be located behind or on top of snow banks and should be at least three feet from any obstacle or parked vehicle.

In winter months, it may be necessary to alter the regular placement of your carts, so that the collection vehicle can reach them.  Find or clear an unobstructed site to put your carts out for collection.

  • Put carts as close as possible to the street, without obstructing the street, sidewalk or bike lane. (Often placing your carts on either side of your driveway allows for greater ease for the collection trucks and for you.)
  • Keep carts off the travelled portion of the roadway so they don’t interfere with snow plows- do not place carts in a location where the snow plow will hit them.
  • Please have your carts out for collection by 7 a.m.
  • Clear your cart of snow and ice to ensure the lid opens when cart is tipped.
  • The cart should be no closer than three feet from any obstacle, parked car, or other cart - an arm’s length spacing is required between each cart.
  • Do not place carts behind or on top of snow banks.
  • General Safety: As the waste collection carts are equipped with wheels, please use extra caution when wheeling them in snowy and icy conditions.

waste_wintercartplacement 

For more information on proper placement and how to handle your carts in winter conditions, visit the RDCO YouTube channel or www.rdco.com/recycle.

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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 recycle@rdco.com or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250.

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Take Responsibility for your Trash - Keep Bears Out - September 17, 2020

The Regional Waste Reduction Office is reminding residents-please do your part to keep your neighborhood safe by managing all things that attract wildlife around your home, including your household garbage.

Conservation Officers confirm bears are regularly spotted in several neighborhoods from South East Kelowna to West Kelowna and Peachland. Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart says that means we need to be extra vigilant. “This is the time of year bears amp up their foraging to build fat stores for winter denning. The best advice if you live in an area susceptible to wildlife is - reduce your risk of conflict- take responsibility for your trash.”

Stewart reminds residents to securely store their trash and only put garbage out the day of pickup, not the night before. “Bears in particular, but other animals as well, have a keen sense of smell. The idea is not to attract them to your garbage unnecessarily. If they have access to your waste, not only can they make a real mess, but they can become food conditioned. Then they pose a risk to you and your family, your neighbors, and themselves. And that’s totally preventable.”

Stewart adds the Regional Waste Reduction Office in conjunction with their waste contractor E360s is now into phase two of a pilot project testing fully automated bear resistant garbage carts in select neighborhoods this fall. “Dependent on the results of the pilot and how those carts stand up to bear activity, and winter conditions, there may be bear resistant cart options for residents by next year.”

WildSafeBC has tips you can follow to help keep wildlife wild and the community safe:

  • Secure your garbage – store it in a secure location indoors or a bear-resistant enclosure. Also secure Yard Waste cart if it contains fruit.
  • Only put garbage out for collection on the morning of pickup, not the night before
  • Encourage neighbors to do the same, offer to help if needed
  • Consider freezing your kitchen waste until the morning of collection day
  • Manage your fruit trees, pick ripe & fallen fruit immediately
  • Maintain your compost so it doesn’t smell. Add fruit slowly. No meat/dairy.
  • Use birdbaths and houses to attract birds, instead of bird feeders

Please report human-bear conflicts to the BC Conservation Officer Service at 1.877.952.7277

For more information on deterring bears from your garbage, visit the WildSafeBC website: https://wildsafebc.com/species/black-bear/.  For additional inquiries, visit rdco.com/recycle, email recycle@rdco.com or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250.

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Recycling Ambassadors hit the streets for recycling education - September 16, 2020

Are you putting the right things in your recycling cart? The Regional District will be back on the streets again this fall with the help of their Recycling Ambassadors, randomly checking what’s under the blue lid and inside curbside recycling carts. This is part of the ongoing cart education and inspection campaign by the Regional District to combat recycling contamination.

Engineering Manager Travis Kendel says they have brought back the Recycling Ambassador Student Program after a delay due to COVID-19. “Our Ambassadors will be reaching out to residents through curbside cart checks and education this fall.”

“We understand that sorting waste and recycling can sometimes be confusing. Most residents are doing a pretty good job including only what’s acceptable to put in the carts. But recycling audits show there are still a significant number of unacceptable items going into our recycling stream, especially plastic bags and other plastic films, and that’s a big problem.”

“Things like plastic bags, garbage, books, food waste, garden hoses, electronics, scrap metals, clothing, even yard waste—items that have never been accepted in our curbside recycling program are still showing up and contaminating the recycling stream,” says Kendel.

“If we don’t significantly reduce and eliminate these unacceptable products from our recycling loads, we face financial penalties from Recycle BC. We need to do a better job and that requires continuous education and monitoring.”

Kendel says the Recycling Ambassadors will have a quick look at the contents in recycling carts, and if they find items that don’t belong they’ll leave information explaining what went wrong.  In some cases, if there is significant contamination, carts won’t be picked up until the offending material is removed.

Here are some of the items Ambassadors will be looking for:

  • Garbage
    • Garden hoses, landscape edging and tarps
    • Paper towels and tissues
    • Non-packaging plastics such as toys, Tupperware type containers, laundry baskets
  • Items recyclable at depots and other locations (but not in the cart)
    • Plastic bags including bagged recyclables
    • Styrofoam
    • Glass
    • Soft plastics such as cling wrap, bubble wrap, chip and snack bags, zipper bags
    • Electronics and small appliances
    • Textiles such as clothes, fabric and pillows
    • Soft cover novels and hard cover books and textbooks
  • Hazardous waste
    • Hazards such as syringes, propane tanks, oil jugs

In 2019 the Regional District inspected over 12,500 recycling carts and sent approximately 2,500 letters to residents when the wrong materials are found in the recycling, garbage and yard waste carts – to help encourage future compliance.

To find out more about what to recycle in your curbside cart or at a depot, visit rdco.com/recycle, download the free Recycle Coach App, or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250.

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North Westside Bulky Household Item Collection - September 16, 2020

North Westside Road residents within the Central Okanagan will have a special opportunity to dispose of unwanted bulky items this fall.

Wednesday October 7 through Wednesday October 14, during regular operating hours at the North Westside Road Transfer Station, you can dispose of large household items for a cost of $20 per truckload.  

This special disposal opportunity is available to residents with a valid ID card only, for residential items only including: appliances, scrap metal, lawn mowers and other motorized parts, household and lawn furniture.  No hazardous waste (including computers, electronics, etc.) will be accepted. Unwanted fridges and freezers will be accepted at $15 per item, the Freon decommissioning charge.

Cash or cheques will be the only accepted method of payment. 

The North Westside Road Transfer Station is open Monday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 8:00 am until 12:00 noon.  It is located at the Sugarloaf Mountain/Whiteman Creek Forest Service Road. (Turn at the corner of Westside Road and Sugarloaf Mountain Forest Service Road and follow the signs.)

For more information and details about this collection please contact the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250-469-6250 or email recycle@cord.bc.ca.

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Bears are Back - Take Responsibility for your Trash - May 7, 2020

The Regional Waste Reduction Office is sending out the spring reminder to do your part in keeping neighbourhoods safe by managing all things that attract wildlife around your home, including your household garbage.

Conservation Officers confirm bears have already been spotted in several neighbourhoods from Peachland to West Kelowna and beyond. Waste Reduction Facilitator Rae Stewart says that means it’s time to be extra vigilant. “This is the time of year bears come out of hibernation, hungry, and looking for food.  The best advice if you live in an area susceptible to wildlife is to reduce your risk of conflict and take responsibility for your trash.”

Stewart reminds residents to store waste and recycling carts inside a shed or garage and put carts out only on the morning of pickup, not the night before. “Bears in particular, but other animals as well, have a keen sense of smell. The idea is not to attract them to your garbage unnecessarily.  If they find your waste, they can make a real mess, but also become food conditioned. Then they can pose a risk to you and your family, your neighbours, and themselves. And that’s totally preventable.”

Stewart says the Regional Waste Reduction Office in conjunction with their waste contractor E360s will be continuing with the next phase of a pilot project of fully automated bear resistant garbage carts in select neighbourhoods. “There have been some design issues with these new model carts, so testing on the upgraded versions will continue this spring. Dependent on the results of the pilot and how those carts stand up to bear activity, there may be new bear resistant cart options for residents later this year. Something to keep in mind though, the manufacturer stresses these automated bear carts are still only bear resistant, not 100 per cent bear proof, so managing your attractants carefully is still critical. 

Wildsafe BC has tips you can follow to keep wildlife wild and help prevent conflict:

  • Only put garbage out for collection on the morning of pickup, not the night before
  • Encourage neighbours to do the same, offer to help if they are not able to put garbage out at appropriate times
  • Secure your garbage on non- collection days- store it securely in your home or in a garage or shed
  • Consider freezing your kitchen scraps until the morning of collection day
  • Keep your barbeque clean and covered
  • Pick ripe or fallen fruit immediately; if composting, or putting in yard waste cart, ensure they are secured from wildlife access
  • use birdbaths to attract birds, rather than bird feeders

Please report human-bear conflicts to the BC Conservation Officer Service at 1.877.952.7277

For more information on deterring bears from your garbage, visit the WildsafeBC website: https://wildsafebc.com/about/.    For additional inquiries, visit rdco.com/recycle, email recycle@rdco.com or call the Regional Waste Reduction Office at 250.469.6250.

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Regional District of Central Okanagan | 1450 KLO Road | Kelowna, BC V1W 3Z4
Ph: 250-763-4918 | Fax: 250-763-0606 | Email: info@rdco.com
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 am – 4:00 pm (Closed Holidays)