Esquimalt nixes backyard garbage collection

Backyard garbage pickup will soon end for Esquimalt homeowners.

Councillors voted Monday to implement curbside collection when it begins collecting kitchen scraps for about 3,600 residences later this year.

Mayor Barb Desjardins acknowledged the change will present some difficulties for seniors and people with mobility problems, but said staff are working on ways to provide limited support services.

"We value that we are an age-friendly community and I include accessibility under that category as well," she said.

The decision was made as a cost-saving measure and to lessen the possibility of injuries to municipal workers, Desjardins said.

Esquimalt collects up to 1,700 tonnes of garbage each year. Township trucks then make the two-hour round trip to Hartland landfill, but staff are proposing they lighten the load by dumping kitchen scraps and garbage at the City of Victoria public works yard.

The proposal, yet to be negotiated with the city, calls for Victoria's trucks to transport the organic waste and garbage to the dump for a fee.

"It's a shorter distance than going to Hartland, so that translates into lower fuel costs ... less wear and tear on the equipment," said Jeff Miller, Esquimalt's public works director.

Miller plans to talk to city staff in the coming months to see if the proposal is feasible. He admitted the plan would only be beneficial if Victoria agreed to accept both kitchen scraps and garbage.

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