By Laura Keil

Getting rid of garbage will be easier than ever for Valemount-area residents, as the Regional District of Fraser-Fort George has opted to expand summer hours at the transfer station from six to seven days a week as a pilot project, staying open Wednesdays 9am-5pm. The changes will be in effect April 1st to September 30th. Normally, summer hours are 9am-5pm weekdays (closed Wednesdays) and 9am-4pm weekends.

Regional District staff say the expanded hours are justified due to increased demand for dumping and recycling by pipeline traffic.

“Due to increased pipeline and construction activity in the Robson Valley, the Valemount Regional Transfer Station has seen an increase in usage of the facility, especially in the spring and summer months when construction season peaks and operating seven days a week during these months will help alleviate some of the pressures on the site,” a staff report reads.

The increase in use results from more residents and general construction in the area, not pipeline waste, as the transfer station does not accept camp or pipeline waste at its facilities, says Renee McCloskey, Communications Manager at the Regional District.

“The pilot project allows staff to monitor if changes in hours help relieve some of the pressure these sites are facing,” said McCloskey. “Any significant operational changes would require Board approval. In this case, the changes were considered minor and within staff’s authority. In receiving the report, the Board expressed no concern with moving forward with the pilot project.”

Winter hours will remain at five days a week.

The staff report said once the pilot project time frame is over, Environmental Services Administration will evaluate the pilot project and bring a report back to board with recommendations for the following year.

The Mackenzie Regional Transfer Station and Cummings Road Regional Transfer Station will also see increased hours.

The staff report said no changes will be made to any current statutory holiday schedules during the pilot project.