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CRD: more trucks to handle recycling backlog

Monday January 24, 2022 | GREATER VICTORIA AREA, BC [Night-time curbside photo posted 8 pm]

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

A backlog of curbside recycling materials is being taken care of with the help of additional trucks and crew from the lower mainland.

The additional support vehicles will be mobilized in the capital region beginning today Monday January 24.

emterra truck

The Capital Regional District (CRD) and Emterra Environmental — the contractor responsible for collecting curbside recycling materials on the CRD’s behalf, have worked together to add a number of collection trucks and crew to each route for the next two weeks to ensure that the build-up of materials on all routes in the region is recovered by February 7.

Delays happened:

As a result of weather interruptions, equipment breakdowns, highway disruptions and perhaps some personnel challenges during COVID, the regular pickup of curbside (blue box) recyclables in the Greater Victoria area has been impacted.

recycling, blue box, crd
The CRD Blue Box program still collects paper, plastic, metal containers, and glass. [Island Social Trends]

In recent weeks many residents had to hold onto their recyclables for another pickup cycle, or take materials to local collection depots. That includes paper, plastics, cans and other household recyclable materials that aren’t being otherwise re-used.

There wasn’t always notice about the route being missed.

Priority to routes missed more than once:

During this collection cycle each route will prioritize neighbourhoods that have been missed multiple times due to their placement near the end of routes. 

Weekend recovery program:

A weekend recovery program will also be deployed if required by the volume of materials at the curb—residents are encouraged to sign up for blue box service alerts at www.crd.bc.ca/bluebox for details specific to their collection day.

If your route is missed on a regularly scheduled collection day between January 24 and February 4, residents can put their curbside materials back out for pickup by 8 am on the Saturday directly following their collection day.

Capital Regional District (CRD) is comprised of 13 municipalities and three electoral areas.

What residents need to know:

Here’s what residents who participate in the CRD’s blue box recycling program need to know, says CRD in their media release today:

  • Place your blue box items at the curb by 7:30AM on your next scheduled collection day.
  • There are no limits to the amount of material that can be put at the curb but they must be rinsed and separated by material stream (paper products, mixed metal and plastic containers, glass containers)
  • If your material is not collected on your scheduled collection day between January 24 and February 4, put it back out before 8AM the Saturday directly following your collection day
  • Trucks will recover any missed materials from Saturday morning to Sunday evening each weekend
  • If materials are not picked up by 9 pm on your regular curbside pickup day, leave them out by 8 am on the Saturday morning immediately after your pickup day.
night, curbside, blue box
Night time curbside pickup of blue box recyclables by CRD/Emterra truck, Jan 24, 2022. [Island Social Trends]


Ongoing service challenges over the past two months have impacted neighbourhoods across the region and the CRD greatly appreciates the public’s patience as we’ve worked with Emterra to return the blue box program to normal service levels as quickly as possible. 

The CRD is committed to avoiding further service disruptions wherever possible and to communicating potential delays as soon as they’re known via the CRD website and blue box collection reminder system.

CRD Blue Box Schedules & App


BC’s recycling industry has faced a series of disruptions and challenges since November 2021 due to severe weather and the ongoing shipping, labour shortage and supply chain issues that have impacted many other sectors in the province.

Last week the region’s primary sorting facility for recyclable materials under contract to Recycle BC was unable to receive loads from all residential and commercial sources (including most multi-family housing) due to an equipment breakdown and a province-wide shortage of commercial vehicles and drivers.  This machinery has since been repaired but ongoing transportation challenges continue to impact Recycle BC’s ability to process and transport materials to recycling markets.

Alternate sorting:

Recyclable materials collected through the CRD’s curbside program will be consolidated and sorted at alternate Recycle BC facilities before being shipped to end markets.

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