Saanich residents flocked to the Parks and Public Works Yard on Saturday when garden waste drop-off resumed.
The District’s Emergency Operations Center (EOC) staff reduced public access to the facility to appointment only and halted yard waste services on March 19 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Drop-off services resumed on April 25 with reduced hours and new safety protocols. To accommodate physical distancing, only one car is permitted at each bin and, according to signage, residents are asked to unload their own vehicles.
#Saanich yard and garden waste has reopened with modified hours and one car per bin to accommodate appropriate physical distancing.
Sat 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Mon, Tues & Fri 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
— District of Saanich (@saanich) April 27, 2020
Traffic was steady on Saturday and District staff were grateful to see the public abiding by the new rules, said Kelsie McLeod, information officer for the EOC.
Spencer Campbell, a compost attendant with several years of experience working at the Saanich Public Works Yard, said that while Saturday was busy, people have been courteous and traffic congestion at and around the Public Works Yard hasn’t been much of an issue.
McLeod emphasized that residents are asked to refrain from lining up prior to opening as there isn’t space for a queue to form which could negatively impact traffic on Borden Street or McKenzie Avenue. Residents planning on heading down to the Public Works Yard are asked to check the web-cam on the District’s website before leaving home to avoid lines.
Campbell pointed out that the Tuesday after the Easter long weekend is typically the busiest day of the year as many begin yard work for the season during their time off – but this year, the yard waste drop-off was closed during the peak day. He added that the May long weekend is typically busy, but he doesn’t think it will be as crowded this year as many people are home during the week.
For now, the Parks and Public Works Yard is open for garden waste drop-off on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesdays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m and Fridays from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
“We know our modified hours will take some adjusting to and we thank the public for their patience,” McLeod said. She added that residents are reminded that smoking is not permitted at the Public Works Yard as there is a significant amount of dry materials on-site.