Given earlier polling that found enthusiastic support in the affected CVRD areas for a curbside collection of household and yard waste as well as a pick up of recyclable materials(74%) it seems obvious there was an organized effort by a few vested interests to defeat the new collection service by a failed AAP.

The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) proposal on rural roadside garbage and recycling collection in Electoral Areas A,B and C has failed the Alternative Approval Process ( meaning 10% of the affected electorate have registered their opposition to the collection service. 

10% ! do not want a service that, in my view, was magnificently put together by Regional District Staff.

10% of the residents in the affected Regional District Areas do not want a curbside waste collection service that, according to the CVRD website, would provide  “a convenient waste management program for residents that supports increased waste diversion, reduced greenhouse gas emissions as well as reductions in the long-term costs of the Comox Valley Waste Management Centre landfill.” For an estimated $250 annual fee with no increase in property tax the RDCV curbside collection would include curbside pick up of household waste, recycling collection as well as unlimited yard waste pickup.

According to provincial legislation a failed Alternative Approval Process(AAP) does not mean the project has failed—it simply means that the proposed expenditure, to be approved, needs to go to a referendum.

For reasons not made clear, the CVRD has chosen not to go to referendum with widely supported waste management improvements that would increase the diversion of recyclables, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve convenience and costs for residents.

Given the outstanding effort to propose a  very carefully thought waste and recycling collection in areas that no longer have unsupervised recycling drop off centres and no yard waste pick up as well as a hit and miss roadside waste collection, the whole faint heartedness in the face of the AAP failure makes one profoundly grateful that Covid immunization did not go to a AAP process where 10% of the population that are antivaxers could scuttle the  vaccination program for all those who do want to see an end to the devastating  virus. 

Given earlier polling that found enthusiastic support in the affected CVRD areas for a curbside collection of household and yard waste as well as a pick up of recyclable materials(74%) it seems obvious there was an organized effort by a few vested interests to defeat the new collection service by a failed AAP.

Our landfill is filling up. The cost and difficulty of finding a new landfill site is a nightmare no taxpayer would want to have to confront. Our roads, streams, woodlands and meadows have become the alternative waste management sites.  Plastic waste recycling, which would have been a primary object of curbside recycling, should not be optional in a world where our land, water ways, oceans have become the alternative waste collection sites.  The estimated $250 annual fee would replace existing costs residents now pay for landfill fees, private garbage collection, costs to take recycling to recycle centres in Courtenay or Comox– or they pay the cost of having their environment/neighbourhoods polluted with waste that does not make it to the landfill or recycling centres. 

The fee for rural roadside collection and recycling would not apply to vacant land or other properties that are not generating uncollected waste.

It is my fervent hope that the RDCV does not dither long in going to a referendum on curbside waste and recycling pickup in Areas A,B and C.  I hope/ trust that the support for this program will, this time, foster a citizens group to promote this important initiative in environmental well being in the CVRD.  Where is Project Watershed when our community desperately needs an activist environmental organization?

Norm Reynolds

Columnist