Colwood’s annual Clean Up event has survived the budget chopping block, after council shot down a motion on Feb. 28 aimed at eliminating it from the city’s draft budget.
The recommendation had emerged from a Feb. 8 committee of the whole meeting as a way to moderate the expected tax increase for 2022. When the event was first conceived there were few options for residents to easily and properly dispose of bulky waste such as appliances or furniture, so the argument was made that the same is not the case today, with plenty of junk removal companies operating.
Council decided to keep the Clean Up event in place, with the understanding that the city runs it at a loss, said Colwood communications manager Sandra Russell. “It is a service people value, and one that helps reduce dumping which can make our city less attractive,” she said.
Council also debated a motion to increase disposal fees charged to help offset the costs, but those, too, will remain status quo for this year’s event, as the motion was defeated. What may change however, are the methods of payment accepted.
For the time being it will be cash only as in previous years, Russell said, but staff are exploring the feasibility of accepting other payment options such as credit or debit cards between now and the end of April.
With the event scheduled for April 29 and 30, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Colwood public works yard, it marks the first time since the pandemic began the community cleanup has been able to be held.
Fees vary based on how much is being dropped off. The minimum fee for up to a carload of items is $20, a small pickup truck load is $30, and a standard pickup truck or trailer load is $40. Appliance disposal runs $20 each with the exception of fridges, freezers, air conditioners and water coolers, which cost $25. Oversized loads cost a minimum of $60, and vehicles weighing more than two tons are not permitted.
Items accepted include, but are not limited to, appliances, batteries, car parts, bikes, branches with trunks no greater than four inches in diameter, bricks, carpet, clothing, tires and wire cut into lengths no longer than one metre.
Items not accepted include household garbage, drywall and gypsum board, tree stumps, tires attached to rims, paint, oil, propane tanks, Styrofoam and other household hazardous waste.