Landfill users disregarding rules, abusing staff

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, residents can still bring their waste to Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) landfills and transfer stations for disposal. 

But treating workers at these sites like garbage is not going to be tolerated.

The safety of both workers and the public at CSRD waste disposals sites is our top priority. This means physical distancing regulations need to be respected by users. It also means longer wait times to get in-and-out of the sites, especially as many people conduct spring clean-ups.

While the CSRD understands this can be frustrating, users cannot be allowed to disregard these critical safety measures.

Recently, landfill and transfer station staff report residents deliberately ignoring directions to physical distance, allowing children to run freely through the site, taking time to socialize with others and not following directions about when and where to move vehicles.

There has also been a noticeable increase in the amount of rude and abusive behaviour directed at workers on-site.

"We are asking residents to plan ahead for longer waits at all our facilities. If you are in a rush, wait until another time," says Ben Van Nostrand, Team Leader of Environmental Health Services. "The reason these sites can stay open is through the efforts of our essential workers. They are doing their best to deal with the challenges posed by COVID-19. What we need is for people to be patient and be kind."

While garbage disposal has been deemed an essential service, other services like recycling and yard waste disposal are not required operations.

"If the public continues to ignore our site attendants' messages related to the Provincial directions for distancing and treat attendants poorly, we may have to consider reducing non-essential services so we can comply with the COVID-19 regulations," adds Van Nostrand.

Photo: A line up of cars at the Salmon Arm Landfill. Residents are reminded that due to physical distancing restrictions, wait times will be longer at all CSRD landfills and transfer stations across the Regional District. (CSRD photo)

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