Recycling pick up delays have caused a backlog of materials for Greater Victoria residents, but the Capital Regional District (CRD) said relief is on the way.
According to the CRD its current contractor, Emterra Environmental, has been dealing with ongoing staffing shortages, bad weather and other pandemic-related disruptions which have caused a number of delays since the summer.
READ MORE FROM OCTOBER 2022: Recycling collection in CRD may be delayed this week due to staff shortage
The delays are causing a headache for some residents.
“They used to come around at about 9 a.m. and lately now it’s not until the next day,” Stuart Houston said. “So the stuff sits out in the back overnight and sometimes the wind picks it up and blows it everywhere.”
Russ Smith, senior manager of environmental resource management, told CHEK News once a backlog starts, it’s hard to catch up.
The CRD has decided to bring in a third-party contractor to help with the built-up excess.
Smith said they’re looking into some more boots-on-the-ground support.
“Trying to get some additional resources to help Emterra out to ensure that the materials are getting picked up, pick up some of the slack and avoid missed pickups as much as possible,” Smith said.
The goal is to bring in at least two trucks to cover one or more of Emterra’s 16 daily routes around the region.
Smith said this will start mid-February.
“We need to solve this problem sooner rather than later and get back to a regular schedule,” he added.
Emterra’s recycling pick up contract concludes at the end of 2023.
Starting in January 2024 GFL Environmental Inc. will be taking over.
“They are in the process of ordering trucks and configuring the routes on their side,” Smith said. “So we will have a new contract starting Jan. 2 and for the next five years.”
GFL’s plans to provide 25 collection trucks, up from the 16 Emterra currently provides.
The company’s proposal also said it will use two electric trucks and 23 that run on compressed natural gas.
Until more trucks can get on the roads, the CRD is grateful for resident’s patience.
“I need them to know we are doing our best, we are looking to get more service out there to improve the level of service,” Smith explained. “The level of service isn’t acceptable to us, or our contractor either, and we are working hard to ensure things improve mid-February at the very latest.”
Information on pick up delays can be found on the CRD website.
Residents whose recycling is not collected by 9 p.m. on their scheduled pick-up day should leave materials at the curb, according to the CRD.
If materials remain at the curb by the end of the following day, people should email [email protected].