The Regional District of Central Kootenay is changing the operation of its waste disposal system in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
And that will include not charging homeowners to dispose of their household waste.
The RDCK is taking further steps to protect its staff from the coronavirus.
The regional district is beginning with distancing, and says residents should stay away if they feel sick or may have been exposed to the virus. Everyone should oberve strict social distancing when at the waste or recycling bins.
It asks residents to try to limit their visits — only coming to the landfills or transfer stations when necessary.
“While isolation at home is a great opportunity to do yard work, purge your closets, or complete renovations, waste materials from these projects can remain at home for now,” staff caution.
Trips should be limited to getting rid of waste that could attract pests or is starting to smell, it says.
“If you have access to curbside collection, please use that service and do not come to our facilities,” the RDCK asks. “Rural residents dropping off household garbage, our municipal curbside collection partners, and commercial collectors take priority right now.”
Respect free tipping, RDCK asks
Staff will also stop accepting cash and debit, to reduce contact.
“We will no longer accept any payments from residents who wish to dispose of waste and recyclables at our facilities,” says the RDCK’s release.
There are provisos, however. Residential loads will be limited to household garbage only, and no bulky items will be accepted. “We will accept up to one pick-up truck load (or equivalent) maximum per week per customer,” the RDCK says.
“These are emergency measures during very challenging times,” said Uli Wolf, general manager of environmental services at the RDCK. “We ask that you respect the free tipping limits so our essential services are not overwhelmed, and can remain open and operational.
“Remember, waste management is not free — these costs will be relayed to all of our taxpayers. Abuse may result in further reduction of services or site closures.”
Commercial loads will continue as per normal, as no money exchanges hands. The RDCK says it will still accept all material types and charges will placed on accounts. However, receipts will not be provided.
The regular hours of operation will remain in effect for now, says the RDCK.
Finally, some bad news for inveterate deal-seekers: the free stores will also be closed for the duration.