Oak Bay Coun. Eric Zhelka scoops excess leaves into his kitchen waste bin. The District of Oak Bay’s contract for kitchen waste pickup now permits the inclusion of general yard waste. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Oak Bay Coun. Eric Zhelka scoops excess leaves into his kitchen waste bin. The District of Oak Bay’s contract for kitchen waste pickup now permits the inclusion of general yard waste. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Oak Bay residents can now discard of yard waste in green bins

Curbside pickup of organics bin can now include grass, leaves, brush and more

Residents of Oak Bay can now include yard waste in curbside organics bins.

The change comes with a switch to GFL Environmental as the contractor curbside organics, which was previously dedicated to food-based kitchen waste and continues to include paper towel, soiled newspapers and egg cartons among others.

“Starting right now, we all can put yard and garden waste into our green bins for regular curbside pickup – fill up the green bin to the top,” said Coun. Eric Zhelka.

Key among the yard waste is grass clippings, leaves, plants and small diameter branches.

For years it has irked Zhelka that the green bins only allowed kitchen scraps. He’s also thrilled that the new contractor will process the materials on Vancouver Island instead of sending them to the mainland. They will now be trucked to a transfer station in Langford and are transported to a processing facility in Chemainus.

David Brozuk, superintendent of public works in the staff report recommending the new change, noted that it should divert the stream of yard waste to the public works building. Thereby, it should provide relief from the long springtime lineups and wait times experienced on Elgin Street in 2020, that led to Oak Bay opening a secondary, temporary drop-off location in the Oak Bay Recreation Centre parking lot.

READ ALSO: Residents wait two hours to drop off yard waste in Oak Bay

READ MORE: Oak Bay opens second dropoff station for garbage, yard waste

And while most invasive plants are not welcome in the green organics waste bin, some can be included. But be careful to distinguish which is permitted, said Chris Hyde Lay, manager of parks services.

Those that can go in are English ivy and hedge bindweed (also referred to as wild morning glory), as they can be composted. Many others can not, however, and adherence is paramount.

“It’s somewhat straight forward, most things can go in, grass, leaves, small brush. But some plants, such as those [public works’ crews] take to Saanich for incineration, we’d not like to see go in the green bin program,” Hyde Lay said.

GFL Environmental was awarded the contract for $303,810 as of Jan 1. The company will receive and process the material.

For clarity on what species of plants are to be kept out of the green bin, visit the Capital Regional Invasive Species Partnership (CRISP) at crispinvasives.ca.

In addition to Oak Bay’s regular curbside pickup of organics, garbage and recycling, the annual spring garden one-time waste pickup will be March 14 to 19 this year. That week, residents can offload three cubic-metres per property by leaving it on the boulevard.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


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