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Electoral area directors have agreed to move forward with the next stage of consultation on a new garbage and recycling pick up service for 11 rural neighbourhoods following results of a recent public survey and further assessment of feasibility.

In August/September, the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) invited residents in Electoral Areas A, B and C to complete a survey indicating their level of interest in a new roadside garbage and recycling collection service. Ongoing interest in this service, changes to local service providers and new funding opportunities suggested it was time to revisit this question after a referendum on the service in 2013 was not successful.

“We are thankful for the more than 3,000 people who took the time to fill out the survey and tell us whether this is a service they would like to see,” said Director Edwin Grieve, Chair of the Electoral Area Services Committee (EASC). “Comments shared about why their community could – or couldn’t – be a good candidate has helped staff address questions about a potential service.”

Directors agreed to move forward with 11 of the 13 neighbourhoods surveyed for further consultation on the proposed service and area boundaries. Their support was based in part on the CVRD creating a simple bidding process that doesn’t exclude small, local companies from competing and submitting a bid.  The CVRD Board will consider the EASC recommendation for ratification at their next meeting, scheduled to take place November 24.

The neighbourhoods included in the next stage are:
Area A: Fanny Bay Area, Union Bay Area
Area B: Lazo Road Area, Little River Area, Bates Beach Area
Area C: Lake Trail Road Area, Dove Creek Area, Merville and Williams Beach Area, Black Creek Area, Saratoga and Miracle Beach Area, MacAulay Road Area

The CVRD will be coming back to these neighbourhoods in early 2021 with more detailed costs and operational plans. This Phase 2 consultation will gather residents’ input to refine these plans and service area boundaries before bringing the proposal back to the community for a final decision later that year.

While survey results for all 13 neighbourhoods indicated interest based on the cost estimate of $150 – $250 per household/per year, that interest level did vary. CVRD staff have subsequently assessed housing density and other service factors and suggest that services in some neighbourhoods would not be successful.

“The survey and technical review were important steps. Now that we have some direction from the community and more information from staff, we’ll come back with a detailed proposal that residents can consider and formally weigh in on,” said Marc Rutten, General Manager of Engineering Services.

Outreach events, as part of the Phase 2 consultation, will likely be held in early 2021, followed by a formal public assent process expected in the second half of 2021. Watch for more updates at comoxvalleyrd.ca/ruralroadsidecollection, where the survey results and staff report are also available.

The Comox Valley Regional District is a federation of three electoral areas and three municipalities providing sustainable services for residents and visitors to the area. The members of the regional district work collaboratively on services for the benefit of the diverse urban and rural areas of the Comox Valley.

Marc Rutten

General Manager of Engineering Services Branch, Comox Valley Regional District