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Summerland asking residents to temporarily avoid or limit visits to landfill during COVID-19 pandemic

The District of Summerland says don’t visit the landfill if you are self-isolating or displaying symptoms of COVID-19.
The District of Summerland says don’t visit the landfill if you are self-isolating or displaying symptoms of COVID-19. Google Maps

The District of Summerland is asking its residents to avoid visiting the landfill if possible, and especially so if you’re self-isolating or displaying symptoms of COVID-19.

In a press release this week, the district said its landfill has seen a large increase in recent visits.

The trend, it said, can be traced to the novel coronavirus pandemic, with more people doing spring cleaning while staying at home to help stop the spread.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Growing concern over increase in curbside garbage, Okanagan landfill activity

“This has resulted in increased health and safety risks to landfill users and staff, long waits in line to enter the landfill and some users rushing through at unsafe speeds and not disposing of their materials where designated in their hurry to leave,” the district said in an email.

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In response, the district is requesting that precautionary measures, listed below, be followed at the Summerland landfill:

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  • Do not utilize the landfill if you are self-isolating or displaying symptoms of COVID-19.
  • Avoid unnecessary visits to the landfill.
  • Make use of your curbside collection services.
  • If possible, store landfill materials until a later date when it is safer to do so.
  • Adhere to social distancing guidelines while on site.
  • All transactions be paid by debit or on contractor account only; no cash or credit card.
  • Place materials only in their designated areas, no mixing of divertible/recyclable materials or inclusion of garbage.
  • Drive slowly and safely while on site, following the 10 km/hr speed limit.
  • Be considerate of other users and staff.

Notably, the district said the landfill is currently open, though it will provide advance notice should restrictions become necessary.

The district added that all scheduled one-day recycling depots held at Summerland Arena are now cancelled until further notice.

Also this week, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) said its landfills were also seeing spikes in activity.

READ MORE: Coronavirus: Penticton, Summerland close access to playgrounds, outdoor sports facilities

“We understand many people are returning from their winter homes or sitting at home in isolation,” said RDOS chair Karla Kozakevich.

“But an unnecessary visit to the landfill can place staff and others at risk. Please listen to health professionals and follow self-isolation and physical distancing procedures.”

The district is also warning people if the landfill attendance does not decrease, it will need to consider implementing restrictive measures, including “closing the facilities to non-commercial customers.”

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The City of Penticton says it will be collecting unlimited amounts of properly packaged yard waste, next week starting on March 30th, 2020.

READ MORE: Penticton, B.C., mayor on city closing facilities to slow spread of coronavirus