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View Royal: snow got in the way of garbage pickup

The supplier Waste Management might be contacted for a communications solution.

Wednesday January 19, 2022 | VIEW ROYAL, BC [Updated January 20, 2022]

by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends

Last night at View Royal Council, there was a discussion about some missed garbage pickup service during recent snowy days.

Snow is not frequent or not usually very deep in the Greater Victoria area. But this winter did deliver a wallop of the white stuff starting Christmas Eve and with another snow dump in early January it all lasted until last week in some areas, until rain and warmer temperatures took care of it.

view royal, council
View Royal Council discussed garbage collection issues at their Jan 18, 2022 council meeting. [From left:] Councillor Ron Mattson, Councillor John Rogers, Mayor David Screech, Councillor Gery Lemon, and Councillor Damian Kowalewich.

In View Royal — where roads are generally well-cleared during a snow event — there was still an issue with the collection of garbage.

Some residents have complained that pickup was missed. In some cases it had to do with strata roads not being plowed, it was mentioned during the council meeting.

In some cases, garbage cans were inaccessible to the collection operators, such as if a path through snow was not cleared. In other cases, cans were frozen and stuck to the ground which prevented lifting.

Also, some of the Waste Management trucks run on natural gas, and during the supply chain interruptions in December and January there may have been delays for refuelling.

There were also long waits at the Hartland Landfill on snowy days.

Complaints to town hall:

The Town of View Royal provides waste pickup services through the municipality. It’s paid for by taxpayers. So some calls came rolling in to staff at town hall. It came up at council for discussion and a direction for dealing with backlog and future such scenarios.

garbage can, snow
Snow got in the way of pickup access to some garbage cans in View Royal (January 2022 | View Royal).

View Royal Mayor David Screech was open to finding a practical solution, and supported thoughts in the room about perhaps an app or web-interface being available through which residents could be advised of snow-impacted conditions.

“if you get information to people, then they would understand,” said Mayor Screech about communications management around the days where pickup was delayed or not possible.

The supplier is Waste Management — a sizeable international company — that it was suggested last night would have the ability to set up that sort of digital interface.

At least one town councillor pondered if that sort of online service would be too costly for a small municipality like View Royal.

Waste Management sounds ready to help:

waste management, logo

Indeed, today Waste Management’s rep for the south BC region, Jackie Lang, told Island Social Trends that with access to the names and email addresses of View Royal residents that they could certainly send out weather-related and other appropriate service advisories.

“Yes! We can notify customers about service delays,” said Ms Lang. Residents would be able to download an app or use a form to provide their service address.

Further details from Waste Management will be posted here tomorrow.

Waste Management also services a large number of commercial customers.

Next pickup:

Meanwhile, today View Royal posted this Jan19 View Royal Garbage Collection Update on Twitter:

view royal, garbage collection
Garbage collection update for Town of View Royal residents, Jan 19, 2022. [Twitter]
  • Tue: complete
  • Wed: if missed, will pickup Jan20
  • Thu: next pickup Jan20
  • Fri: next pickup Jan21
  • Can leave out extra bags
  • WM has multiple trucks collecting; thanks for patience
  • Details: https://bit.ly/3FLu9Lc

Municipal vs private:

View Royal and other municipalities such as Victoria and Saanich offer disposal pickup as a municipal service.

Other municipalities in the west shore (such as Langford and Sooke) leave it to residents to sign up for garbage and food-scraps pickup through private local suppliers such as GFL Environmental (formerly Alpine Group in Langford), Capital City Recycling, and Sooke Disposal Ltd.

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