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City of Courtenay adds helping hands to recycling, yard waste collection

The City of Courtenay is promising to address recent curbside collection issues.

Over the past month or so, residents have seen delays and missed collection pick-ups for recycling and yard waste.

This is mostly due to collections contractor, Emterra Environmental, dealing with staff shortages. 

Mayor Bob Wells says the city has come up with a solution.

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“What the city has committed to do, is anytime yard waste or recycling is missed, we’ll send out city crews within two days,” he explained. “So for those that leave their yard waste out, or their recycling out, if they’re not picked up by Emterra, the city will be picking it up.”

This week, you’re asked to place garbage, recycling and yard waste at the curb on your regular collection day. 

If recycling or yard waste is missed on your collection day, you should leave it at the curb for collection by either Emterra or City staff. 

In the event of a missed collection, late collection will happen within two business days of the missed collection date.

For example, if recycling or yard waste is not picked up Monday, leave it out till Wednesday.

Wells says it’s been a frustrating situation. 

“We’ve worked with Emterra for over 15 years and this type of missed pick-ups just hasn’t happened in the past,” he said. “Our staff has been working around the clock for the past few weeks to come up with a solution with Emterra and so what we’ve decided is, due to the staff shortage on the Emterra side, and the time it’s going to take for them to get up to proper staffing levels, that city staff will actually go out and do the pickups within the two days, if they missed the pickup.”

The city says it will provide updates and service alerts upon receiving notification of missed routes from Emterra. 

Sign up for service alerts through the “Courtenay Collects” web app at or as a smartphone app available free of charge from Google Play and the App Store. 

The city says these “handy alerts can come to you by phone, email, text message or through the app.”

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