Garbage collection and recycling in the regional district is set to start next month after the bylaw for it passed with all but one vote at the Kitimat-Stikine regional district board meeting Oct. 24.
It marks the end of sustained protests not only about the bylaw itself, which sets out how garbage is to be collected and in what size containers and imposes an annual fee of $200, but complaints that the regional district does too much business behind closed doors.
The bylaw and its development also sparked the resignation of one regional district director, Doug McLeod. Residents continued to question the bylaw Oct. 24 leading right up to the vote.
Three residents took their turns telling the regional district what they didn’t like about the proposed garbage collection plan bylaw.
Richard Tiernan told the board it should respect the 700-signature petition signed by residents who wanted a chance to vote on the bylaw, saying it’s imperative that the board realize that people aren’t against recycling but rather it’s what they see as the board’s way of pushing it on them that they don’t like.
“It’s the ‘jam it down the throat’ attitude here,” he said about what people see the board doing. Only the people affected should be voting for it and not residents in other areas of the regional district who won’t be affected by the bylaw, he added.
Urs Gasser thanked the board for acknowledging the email his wife had sent, in which she expressed her concern about the safety aspects of the collection with the school bus being around and people riding horses.
He asked for clarification about when garbage collection and recycling collection would take place.
Regional district official Roger Tooms answered, saying garbage collection would be every week and recycling collection every second week.
Allan Friberg said he was going to speak to the board’s “unacceptable conduct” in the last couple of meetings but said that the board had changed this time and was listening to the people.
Board chair and Terrace representative Bruce Bidgood said it was his job to keep things in order and apologized publicly about how things got out of hand at previous meetings.
The vote came late in the evening and the bylaw was passed with only board members in the areas affected by the bylaw voting – excluded were Terrace, Kitimat, Stewart and Dease Lake reps and directors.
All but one of the directors voted in favour of the bylaw – the exception being Diana Penner, alternate director for Area C which is the rural Terrace area, who voted against it.
She asked for her vote to be noted in the minutes and then walked out afterward.
Curbside collection is set to start Nov. 17 and information guides, including a list of acceptable recyclables, collection routes and schedules, will be sent to property owners.
Workshops to explain the how-tos of the service and to help residents prepare for the collections will be scheduled.
Two neighbourhoods that are part of the service area but are not included in the service yet will continue to be assessed. Those two areas are Kitselas, which is east of North Sparks St. in Terrace, and will be difficult to service based on topography of the area; and the west side of Usk. Alternatives will be assessed.
In addition, there are a few individual properties included in the service that will require further assessment to confirm the logistics of collection.
Note: this story has been corrected from the original, which had stated incorrectly that all the board reps and directors were eligible to vote on whether to accept the bylaw