As Regional District Central Okanagan Board Chair Loyal Wooldridge put it, “thank you for the robust discussion.”
At the May 30 meeting, directors wrestled with whether or not to defer a decision to have Recycle BC take over direct collection of curbside services.
Currently, Recycle BC pays the RDCO to pick up recycling and the regional district then pays a subcontractor to do the work.
Recycle BC recently asked for a decision on whether the RDCO and member municipalities want to continue the arrangement or hand it over to them. The request is driven in part by cross-contamination of recycling.
RDCO staff told the board Recycle BC is positioned to level fines up to nearly $800,000 because of contamination, but the risk is low.
Director Rick de Jong questioned why the decision was only put to the electoral areas when larger municipalities such as Kelowna and West Kelowna hadn’t yet weighed in.
“Wouldn’t we want to wait until we get a picture of what the significant partners want first before we start making radical changes in the electoral areas? It should be deferred.”
Staff also told directors that direct service means financial and operational risks are assumed by Recycle BC, otherwise they fall to the individual communities.
Director Gail Given put forth the motion to defer, which was approved by the board.
“If we make a decision now it could bear some significant increase in costs for those in electoral areas,” added Given. “I would hate for that to happen.”
If the RDCO does decide to switch, Recycle BC would not take over direct services until 2026. The board will make a final decision at its June 27 regular meeting.