Confusion reigns over yard waste and recycling

The city’s new yard waste drop-off centre is open but there seems to be some confusion surrounding the facility.

Andrew Budd wheels a barrow full of branches through the city’s new free yard waste drop-off centre. The facility is open year-round.

The city’s new yard waste drop-off centre is open but there seems to be some confusion surrounding the facility.

Andrew Budd, who mans the free drop-off centre for Emterra, has had people drop off branches and tree stumps that are too big. But because the centre is still new, he has been lenient up until now. The centre will not accept individual branches that are more than three inches (7.5 cm) wide in diameter.

Jennifer Peters, the city’s utilities manager, said residents may be getting confused because they are mixing up the drop-off centre’s rules with the city’s curbside yard waste collection regulations.

“For curbside we’re asking people to cut branches and prunings to a size smaller than three feet and have them tied with twine or biodegradable string in secure bundles,” said Peters. “But you don’t have to chop them up to that smaller size if you’re going to the drop-off centre and it doesn’t need to be bundled.”

There is further confusion surrounding the facility’s opening date.

The city opened the centre April 1 but Budd said he’s been operating the drop-off depot since January, and people have been using it since then.

“The contractor opened it earlier but we weren’t sending people up there because we needed some more information from the contractor as far as liability,” said Peters.

Because the drop-off centre is accessed through private property (Wei Wai Kai First Nation land), the city needed to ensure there was a firm agreement in place between the city, the contractor Emterra and the First Nations.

The yard waste drop-off centre is open Friday to Tuesday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day and is located west of the Inland Island Highway by the Shell Convenience Centre.

Items not accepted at the facility include: rocks, stumps, painted or treated wood, garbage, kitchen waste and home renovation or construction materials. All materials are taken to a compost facility in the Comox Valley.