Esquimalt gets tough on garbage collection

Residents left wondering about beefed up enforcement

  • Nov. 29, 2011 7:00 a.m.

Some Esquimalt residents wondering why their garbage hasn’t been picked up in recent weeks now have their answer.

The township is getting tough on its garbage collection rules to improve safety and efficiency for workers doing the heavy lifting.

Residents are reminded they shouldn’t put out overly heavy garbage, too many cans or keep their trash in an inaccessible spot. Garbage should also be put out by 7:30 a.m.

“And it looks like those numbers (of offences) are rising,” said Jeff Miller, Esquimalt’s director of engineering and public works.

A strategy has been developed “to educate people as to why you’re getting these stickers and why your garbage isn’t being picked up,” Miller said, adding there will be a grace period over the course of four pickups in December and into January so that residents can become reacquainted with the rules.

After that, persistent violators will find their refuse tagged and left at their residence. if the problem is addressed, residents can make arrangements with the township to have their garbage picked up before the next collection date. But they could be billed extra for that, Miller said.

In recent weeks, longtime resident Muriel Dunn has heard complaints from several residents whose garbage isn’t being picked up near their door, though they pay for backyard service.

“What I find is that if we are having door-to-door garbage (pickup) and we pay for that in our taxes, then who is making the rules about how high or how steep or how far they can reach?” Dunn said.

Trash must be accessible, Miller said, adding this new strategy “is just enforcement of the existing bylaw.”

A review of the township’s backyard garbage service, which will be compared with curbside collection, is planned for the new year.