Proposed Rural Roadside Garbage and Recycling Collection Service

Following the results of the 2021 Unified Alternative Approval Process (AAP), the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) Board decided not to further pursue establishing a rural roadside garbage and recycling collection service.

In 2021 the CVRD sought elector approval to establish a waste collection service for rural residents, split into three service areas. The AAP allowed for residents and homeowners to submit an elector response form in order to voice their opposition. Approval was not obtained through this process, as more than 10 per cent of the eligible electors submitted opposition forms within all three proposed service areas, with the results ranging between 12 and 16 per cent.

Click here to view these results.

EASC Review of Rural Recycling Options

In December 2021, staff brought forth a report to the Electoral Areas Service Committee (EASC) that detailed multiple potential options related to waste collection and the improvement of recycling and diversion opportunities in rural areas of the Comox Valley.

After careful consideration, the Electoral Area Directors will look to the Comox Strathcona Waste Management (CSWM) service to review rural waste management opportunities as part of their planned Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) renewal. This process will involve extensive input from residents which will be key to determining a path forward that the community can support.

Rural Waste and Recycling Options - Report

What Happens Next?

A review of rural diversion and waste collection opportunities will be conducted as part of the SWMP renewal. The SWMP outlines the priorities, targets and initiatives that will be undertaken by the CSWM service in support of waste diversion and their other plan goals and targets.

This SWMP renewal process will involve extensive community consultation which is planned for 2022/2023. As a result, CSWM Directors will be empowered to make informed decisions in order to support waste diversion in rural areas. This may or may not result in a call for some form of roadside collection service, or may result in other initiatives and ideas being brought forward by the community and the plan review process. The robust and comprehensive conversations and public consultation will ensure all views are considered as part of the plan review.

In addition, work is planned on upgrades to the Oyster River recycling depot, which would provide CVRD’s Electoral Area C residents and Strathcona Regional District’s Area D residents with improved recycling opportunities for the area.

What We Heard

In spring 2021, the CVRD sent a mailout to 8,266 impacted residents to inform them about the proposed collection service. About 300 people interacted with the CVRD by joining an online session or through direct calls to emails and staff. In addition, over 1,400 residents visited the online engagement portal with many submitting questions or comments.

There was much debate within the community about this proposal – via social media, letters to the editor and other interactions – in response to the efforts made by the CVRD to inform the public. Following assessment of this reponse, there is not adequate community support to pursue a referendum.

A summary of the contacts received by CVRD staff is below. Note this does not include questions/discussions fielded by front line staff.

To read the full report summarizing the input we received, click the image below.

Project Background

In the fall of 2020, electoral area residents were asked to complete a survey that would inform staff and elected officials on interest in a new roadside garbage and recycling collection service, and what service level residents were looking for. Of the 3,073 responses to the survey, 74% of respondents were supportive of a program. As a result of this community support, directors asked staff to develop a proposed program which included garbage and recycling collection every two weeks at an estimated cost of $200-$250/year.