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Regional district forecasting large influx of garbage, appliances from White Rock Lake wildfire

A view of a fire-damaged property near Westside Road in the Central Okanagan. Global News

The North Okanagan regional district is predicting a large influx of garbage from the destructive White Rock Lake wildfire.

As of Thursday, the fire was the only wildfire of note in the province. It has an active status, and is estimated at 83,342 hectares, but is deemed to be under control by the BC Wildfire Service.

With the wildfire’s many evacuation alerts and orders having been rescinded earlier this month, the regional district says residents are now returning to impacted properties and that it is moving into the recovery phase.

Read more: White Rock Lake wildfire could burn into winter, say officials

“It is expected that as a result of evacuation orders and the loss of power in the area, large quantities of municipal solid waste may be generated and will need to be properly managed at various solid waste management facilities throughout the Regional District of North Okanagan and the Regional District of Central Okanagan,” said the regional district.

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Further, the RDNO said due to space constraints, it is encouraging residents to confirm which regional district they live in, and to take their waste to their corresponding landfills and transfer stations.

“The recovery phase for this event may also include disposing of fridges and freezers that have been without power and contain spoiled food,” said the RDNO.

Further, the RDNO noted Electoral Area B residents must bring their fire-related waste to the Greater Vernon diversion and disposal facility, and that the Armstrong-Spallumcheen diversion and disposal facility will not be accepting any fire-recovery debris.

Click to play video: 'More White Rock Lake fire evacuees return home after month-long displacement' More White Rock Lake fire evacuees return home after month-long displacement
More White Rock Lake fire evacuees return home after month-long displacement – Sep 6, 2021

The RDNO said some area residents have already started disposing of impacted fridges and their contents. It also said RDNO diversion and disposal facilities won’t accept refrigerators or freezers still containing food waste.

“It is the responsibility of the owner to remove the contents and dispose of it separately,” said the RDNO.

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If you have a fridge or freezer requiring disposal and are unable to bring it to a disposal facility, call 250-550-3700 to find out if there are other options available in your area.

Central Okanagan regional district residents are being strongly encouraged to use the North Westside Road transfer station, the Trader’s Cove transfer station, the Westside residential disposal and recycling centre or the Glenmore landfill for all waste related to fire recovery.

Regular disposal fees will apply for all materials disposed at RDNO facilities.

Click to play video: 'How wildfires affected wine and growing season in B.C.' How wildfires affected wine and growing season in B.C.
How wildfires affected wine and growing season in B.C – Sep 12, 2021

For information on hours of operation and disposal fees, visit the RDNO’s website.

For more information about fridge and freezer disposal in the Central Okanagan, visit the RDCO’s website.

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