Valley Waste and Recycling was loading garbage and recycling bins into Hope’s event bowl on May 2 in preparation for their start as the town’s waste-services provider. (Sarah Gawdin/Hope Standard)

After last week’s disruption, everything’s back to normal, say District of Hope staff

On May 1, Hope had no waste-removal services after existing contract expired last December

When it comes to garbage pick-up, things are back to normal in Hope—or at least they’re getting there, says District staff.

“The (waste-disposal) contract has been awarded to Valley Waste and Recycling Ltd.,” said Mayor Peter Robb in an email to The Hope Standard. “They were given notice of (the contract) award in April.”

However, the timeline was a bit too short in reality for on Wednesday, May 1, First Class Waste Services (FCW), which had been serving the region for nearly a decade in terms of waste disposal, pulled up stakes and left town: after their previous contract expired in December 2018, the company says they continued working with the District of Hope because they believed an agreement for future work would eventually solidify—it didn’t.

RELATED: Pee-yew! Garbage becomes a problem as District lapses in providing waste-removal service coverage

So FCW set May 1 as their end-date, and when they left town, households and businesses across the district were left with loads of garbage and nowhere to put it.

But “the situation is improving daily with curbside residential collection continuing—albeit maybe slightly delayed—and commercial accounts have either been given containers, or bag collection services is being undertaken,” Robb said.

“The processes of clarifying potential contract options and ultimately the Request for Proposal (RFP) process did unfortunately take longer than expected,” the mayor continued. “Our team has worked well, at short notice, to ensure an acceptable level of solid waste collection service continues.”

The day after services were interrupted, May 2, the District website was updated to alert locals that “all residential garbage, recycle and yard waste pick up will continue as normal, starting the week of May 6, until further notice.”

However, as was pointed out by the Hope and District Chamber of Commerce in a letter to members on May 2, some local businesses—especially those in the food industry—generate 50 to 100 bags of garbage a day, and while at least half of local companies have received new garbage bins, without regular pick-up, the bins will fill quickly.

“As a result of our constant monitoring and adjustment of the transition plan, we are now providing a centralized (transfer station) facility for commercial account holders to bring waste and recycling to,” wrote John Fortoloczky, chief administrative officer for the District of Hope, in an email to Stephen Au-Yeung, president of Hope’s Chamber of Commerce.

READ MORE: Mattress Recycling lays down roots in Hope

On May 3, the District’s website was again updated with a notice for business owners: “A temporary centralized drop-off facility for commercial account holders to bring waste and recycling (to) has been set up at the 349 Fort Street parking lot beside the Art Gallery. This will be accessible to commercial businesses … until regular service resumes.”

The District of Hope’s website also reminds the community that Mattress Recycling (1046 4th Ave.) is an option for residential recycling, and they’re open Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

“We wish to thank residents and commercial account holders for their continued patience,” Robb said.

“This new contract will provide residential customers with new toter bins (that) will be picked up mechanically by collection trucks. Toters will be provided for organics/yard waste (lockable), waste, and recyclables. Another container will be provided for glass collection at curbside as well.

“We will begin to migrate to sorting organics out of the residential waste stream later in 2019, and for commercial accounts in 2020. This is to comply with new Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) regulations.”

And although he joked “word of mouth in Hope sometimes travels faster than the speed of light,” Robb said the District will be making an announcement with all the details shortly.

“We have been pushing out public information via various social media channels, contact with the general public, and fielding calls at our front desk.”

For more information about the District’s waste disposal efforts, visit their website’s Spotlight regarding this issue at Hope.ca/Waste-Collection-Transition: those looking for more information about the District of Hope are also asked to visit its website at Hope.ca, email info@hope.ca, or call 604-869-5671.

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