As people in North Cowichan start cleaning up their yards, the municipality is asking people to consider recycling yard waste instead of burning the material.
Yard waste can be brought free of charge to one of the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s recycling facilities. The municipality said composting or using a wood chipper is also an option.
“Recent studies have found that total particulate matter less than 2.5 microns is the air quality contaminant of concern in the Cowichan Region, and the leading cause of these emissions is open burning,” North Cowichan Mayor Jon Lefebure said in a statement.
“Accordingly, residents are encouraged to use other means of disposing of yard waste to reduce the volume of fine particulate matter being discharged into the air.”
Those who choose to burn yard waste are required to adhere to local and provincial guidelines and restrictions. Open burning is restricted on properties within the urban containment boundary because those areas have the highest density of homes and businesses that can be affected by smoke.
A burning permit is required to burn yard waste on any property within the urban containment boundary that is two acres or larger. Open burns are prohibited on property within the urban containment boundary that is fewer than two acres, excluding campfires.
Burning can only occur between March 15 to April 15 and Sept. 15 to Nov. 30. The provincial venting index must be at “good” before any burning takes place.
The municipality said there are approximately 195 properties within the urban containment boundary that are more than two acres and are eligible for a burning permit. Burning permits are issued by the municipality and are free of charge.
There is an online map where residents can confirm if their property is within the urban containment boundary.
The CVRD solid waste management and recycling facilities that accept yard waste are:
Bings Creek Solid Waste Management Complex, 3900 Drinkwater Road, Duncan. Open daily 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Peerless Road Drop-Off Depot, 10830 Westdowne Road, Ladysmith. Check the website or call to confirm hours.