by Frank Bucholtz, Mission Record
Mission residents will be getting garbage pickup once every two weeks, starting next April.
Mission council discussed its plans for changing the service at its meeting on Monday. While pickup of garbage will be bi-weekly, recyclables and compost will continue to be picked up every week.
The changes are driven by a commitment made by Mission to both the Fraser Valley Regional District and the province to reduce the amount of waste generated in the municipality, and to boost compostables in particular. In addition, Mission is going to introduce changes to reduce the attractiveness of garbage and compost to wildlife, in particular bears.
Council is also planning changes to ensure that businesses must do recycling. While many businesses are doing so voluntarily, not all have taken up the practice.
Mission was identified as far back as 2010 as being a hot spot for attracting bears to garbage. Since that time, pickup of compost has been instituted which acts as even more of a magnet to bears and other wildlife. A number of programs have been instituted to educate residents about proper ways of dealing with waste and keeping it away from bears.
Mayor Randy Hawes said one of the problems is that many residents put out their garage and compost the night before pickup. This is a magnet for bears. It needs to be put out in the morning of the day pickup is scheduled, he said. The new bylaw will include fines to act as a deterrent to setting out bins the night before.
The municipality distributed “rot pots” to residents for compost in 2011, but Hawes said more needs to be distributed to residents of newer homes that were not built or occupied at the time of the earlier distribution. The “rot pots” have a latch that closes, but are not bear-proof.
“We have to get kitchen waste out of the waste stream,” Hawes said.
The FVRD is calling for 65 per cent diversion from the waste stream by 2017 – just over a year away. The target moves up to 80 per cent by 2019. Last year, Mission diverted 54 per cent of its waste. Abbotsford has already reached the 65 per cent target.
Residents will be able to place two 80-litre bins of garbage at the curbside every two weeks when the changes are made. In addition to boosting the diversion rate, the changes will save about $40,000 annually and will allow the Mission landfill a longer lifespan.
The planned changes also call for significantly more diversion at the landfill. At present, only 20 per cent of waste that is hauled there is diverted.