Greater Victoria recycling collection weeks late

View Royal resident Antonio Pacheco went five weeks without his curbside recycling picked up.

“Well, we had two misses,” Pacheco said.

It is now piling up in his garage.

“I don’t know if we should integrate our recycling or continue to leave it aside,” said his neighbor.

Russ Smith is Senior Director of Environmental Resource Management, Parks and Environmental Services for the Capital Regional District. He says the answer to this question is to introduce it.

“You’ll have to hold it for two weeks until you can get it out again,” Smith said.

Smith calls the situation a perfect storm.

Our recent snowfalls have delayed picking up blue boxes. Staff issues due to covid added more pressures. There has been an increase in recycling due to Christmas and now there has been a mechanical breakdown at Cascades Recovery on Bridge Street in Victoria.

This is where all the sorting of recycled materials takes place before they are shipped to the mainland for processing.

“So this happened around 10 a.m. yesterday and interrupted the handling of these materials that are being collected,” Smith said.

Cascades has the parts on hand to repair the baler. It should be operational again by Monday.

Blue box pickups are still happening, but there is still a significant backlog. It means your day could be missed.

Until the machine is repaired, Cascades will not levy charges on commercial or multi-family buildings. The collection of these materials is carried out by private contractors and not by the CRD.

At View Royal, garbage pickups have also been delayed.

“Some residents have gone two, three or maybe even more (weeks) without their trash being picked up,” said View Royal Mayor David Screech.

This municipality subcontracts its collections to Waste Management.

“We have a propane truck that can pick up both green waste and household trash in the town of View Royal,” Screech said. “In mid-December, that broke down.”

Supply chain issues prevented the company from obtaining parts for the repair and had to resort to using smaller single-use trucks instead. It made him late.

Add to that bad weather and, of course, staffing shortages due to COVID-19.

“That, in general, just created a massive backlog across the city,” Screech said.

But early Thursday morning, the garbage reprieve arrived in the View Royal neighborhood of Pacheco in the form of an overdue garbage truck.

“The cavalry has arrived,” Pacheco said. “You know, now we’re saved.”

The CRD and the Mayor of View Royal hope that all collections will be caught up by the end of the month.

About Shelly Evans

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