The Town of Ladysmith is implementing a yard waste pickup pilot project. (File photo)

The Town of Ladysmith is implementing a yard waste pickup pilot project. (File photo)

Town looks to implement yard waste pickup pilot project

The Town of Ladysmith is embarking on a yard waste pickup pilot program for spring and fall 2021.

The pilot project aims to have two spring pickup dates for the end of April and May 2021. Town staff will bring a summary report of costs and participation levels after the first two pickups. Council will then review that report and provide direction for a fall pickup schedule.

$20,000 has been allocated to the Solid Waste budget for 2021 with the funds to come from the Solid Waste Reserve. The Town did find cost savings in the Solid Waste budget after the 2020 Spring Cleanup event was cancelled. Council also allocated $2,000 to advertise and communicate the program to the community.

The staff report said that the final costs of a yard waste pickup program in Ladysmith will be determined by participation levels.

The Town’s solid waste contractor, Waste Connections, has said the costs will be a $150 hourly rate for pickup, and $70/MT for disposal.

“Based on these rates, if each pickup takes two days and generates 20MT of material, the cost would be $3,800. Considering two pickups in the spring and two pickups in the fall, this gives a cost of $15,200. Due to the huge variability in potential participation, having the program split into spring and fall provides an opportunity to reassess costs and allocate additional funding if required,” the report said.

It is expected the the pilot program can be run without any additional costs beyond the allocated $20,000.

The program will be modelled on an existing yard waste pickup program in Duncan that is carried out by Waste Connections. In Duncan, yard waste is collected on the first collection day of each month from March to December — there is no collection in January and February.

The following can be placed at the curb for yard waste collection:

• Yard Waste Up to 10 compost bags or reusable bins of yard waste no larger than 77L and weighing no more than 50lbs/22kg.

• Sticks Up to 2 bundles of sticks no longer than 3 feet and no larger than 2 inches in diameter. Bundles of sticks must be tied with cotton string and not exceed 50lbs/22kg in weight.

Staff proposed that the Ladysmith program be based on the same criteria.

If the pilot program is successful, staff will bring forward the total costs for the additional service during the 2022-2026 Financial Plan discussions.