Thursday January 20, 2022 | VIEW ROYAL, BC
by Mary P Brooke | Island Social Trends
In the Town of View Royal in recent days there was some missed garbage pickup service due to snow and related factors. The customer complaints reached the level of View Royal Council and a discussion there, on Tuesday evening January 18.
In the Greater Victoria area there are 13 municipalities and electoral areas. Many of them manage their own garbage and food scraps pickup through contracted services on the taxpayer’s dime, including Victoria, Saanich and View Royal. Others use private local disposal companies that householders pay for themselves directly, including in Langford, Colwood and Sooke.
The larger regional picture is guided by the Capital Regional District (CRD) which owns and manages the landfill and organizes the recycling services including curb side blue box pickup.
View Royal contracts with Waste Management (WM), a large international company that provides disposal pickup services to a full range of customers including industrial, commercial, municipal, strata, and individual households.
Recovery mode in View Royal:
“WM is working in recovery mode in View Royal, with all available resources focused on resuming regular service and collecting materials missed due to weather conditions,” says Jordan Rintoul who is WM District Manager – Collection Operations.
Info on the WM Northwest website:
“We are also working to improve customer communications. The best way for customers is to stay informed about service changes is to check the WM website,” he told Island Social Trends today.
There is a northwest version of the WM website at wmnorthwest.com. It covers a region of Vancouver, south Vancouver Island and the northwest USA including Washington State, Oregon, and Idaho.
The company calls that portal its ‘#1 source of information during and after storm events’. There you can scroll down to find View Royal on the drop-down menu and click on Service Alerts.
MY WM Mobile App:
The MY WM Mobile App is another way for customers to stay informed in some communities.
“We’re not currently promoting the app in View Royal because WM does not have residents’ contact information,” says Rintoul. That’s because the View Royal municipality has the contact information, because the town bills residents for disposal services.
For the WM app to be usable for View Royal customers, the Town of View Royal would need to provide service addresses and contact information for residents. For now, the WM website is the best resource for service alerts.
Access to the carts:
One way customers can help with the recovery is to remove snow and ice so carts are accessible on collection day.
WM asks that residents do what they can to clear the area and safely place carts out on their regular collection day. Ask a neighbor for help if needed.
Snow is not frequent in the south Vancouver Island region, and when it does happen it’s 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.
Setting out extra material:
For residents who have extra material because of missed collections, there are guidelines for setting extras at the curb. See wmnorthwest.com/bcweatherboard/. Tips for setting out extras are at the bottom of the Service Alerts page.
“We understand many customers have extra garbage after a missed collection,” says the WM district manager. “The #1 thing we ask customers is to not overload containers,” says Rintoul. “It may be inconvenient, but holding back some of your material until your next service day can go a long way in preventing litter and ensuring a prompt and safe collection,” he says.
Sorting it out at Council:
In View Royal — where roads are generally well-cleared during a snow event — there was still an issue with the collection of garbage at the start of January.
Some residents complained that pickup was missed. In some cases it had to do with strata roads not being plowed, it was mentioned during the January 18 View Royal 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.
Some complaint calls came rolling in to staff at town hall in recent weeks. It came up at council for discussion toward establishing a direction for dealing with backlog and future such scenarios.
Waste Management sounds ready to help:
Waste Management’s sustainability communications lead for the south BC region, Jackie Lang, told Island Social Trends yesterday 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.
Last night, View Royal posted this Jan19 View Royal Garbage Collection Update on 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
Delays in CRD blue box pickup (January 20, 2022) – link to come
View Royal: snow got in the way of garbage pickup (January 19, 2022)
Doctor shortage highlighted by clinic closure in View Royal (January 18, 2022)
Dec 2021 View Royal lightup contest (December 14, 2021 – winners January 4, 2022)