The Cowichan Valley Regional District is imploring residents to limit or postpone their trips to the district’s recycling centres, which are being overwhelmed by traffic.
COVID-19 has caused service limitations at the centres, which remain on winter hours until June 1, at the same time many people are off work and getting out into their gardens and cleaning up their homes and properties.
“Those that must [go] should expect long waits to access our sites, and we ask for your patience as we continue to provide this essential service during this ongoing public health emergency,” said Aaron Stone, chair of the Cowichan Valley Regional District.
Access to CVRD recycling centres is currently limited to 10 vehicles on site at a time, in order to ensure physical distance requirements for the health and safety of the public and CVRD staff. Cash is not being accepted, and all payments must be debit or credit. Free stores are also closed until further notice. Both Meade Creek and Peerless Recycling Centres are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday. Bings Creek Recycling Centre is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“As with all facets of society today, these are unprecedented circumstances for the CVRD’s solid waste system and we are asking for the public’s patience and cooperation as we attempt to meet the needs of our residents while keeping staff and the public safe.” states Brian Carruthers, Chief Administrative Officer.
The CVRD continues to assess and respond to availability of staff, as well as closures and slowdowns of external processing facilities such as garbage disposal in the United States, composting and recycling depots, and the availability of hauling contractors, the district said in a press release.
Anyone experiencing COVID-19 like symptoms is asked to refrain from visiting recycling centres and isolate at home. Those who do visit are asked to ensure they maintain a physical distance of two metres from staff and other users all times.
The CVRD will continue to monitor this public health emergency and take direction from the Provincial Health Officer when making decisions about public access to recycling centres. Residents should check the Garbage & Recycling section of the CVRD website for up-to-date information.