Garden waste drop-off resumes at the Saanich Parks and Public Works Yard on April 25 with modified hours and new safety protocols.
On Saturday at 9 a.m., Saanich residents will once again be able to bring yard trimmings down to the Public Works Yard facility at McKenzie Avenue and Borden Street.
#Saanich yard and garden waste drop off will reopen Sat, April 25 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 to 8 p.m.
— District of Saanich (@saanich) April 24, 2020
Public access to the facility was reduced to appointment only and yard waste services were temporarily halted on March 19 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
On April 23, Mayor Fred Haynes told Black Press Media that the District’s Emergency Operations Center staff were looking at ways to safely resume garden waste drop-off at the Public Works Yard as, many residents reached out to Haynes and other members of council to voice frustration about not having a place to dump yard waste.
Haynes explained that while he understood it was inconvenient, the closure was a necessary part of protecting municipal staff and managing uncertain risks. He added that yard waste drop-off isn’t the only activity that takes place at the Public Works Yard and in order to allow staff to social distance, “we needed to imagine it was a third the size,” he said.
Haynes added that if Public Works Yard staff are exposed to the virus, core services such as garbage pick-up and police vehicle maintenance could be impacted. District of Saanich staff are a family, he said, and it’s “important that no family put their members at risk” during the health crisis.
Drop-off service hours have been modified to Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m and Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Residents using the facility will also be asked to adhere to new protocols to prevent the spread of the virus. For now, the rule is one car per bin to allow residents and staff to practise physical distancing.
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 as municipal staff are anticipating high drop-off volumes once the facility reopens. Staff are also warning that there is nowhere for drivers to line up before the gates open so residents are asked not to arrive early and to be mindful of other traffic in the area – intersections and corridors cannot be blocked while waiting to access the Public Works Yard.