Ian Morrison, CVRD’s director for Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Falls. (Citizen file)

Ian Morrison, CVRD’s director for Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Falls. (Citizen file)

After a number serious breakdowns, CVRD to rent curbside collection truck

District also to temporarily switch to six-day collection week

After experiencing numerous break downs of its three curbside collection trucks that impacted collection schedules earlier this summer, the Cowichan Valley Regional District is looking to rent a truck for the rest of the year, and add an extra day to its five-day collection schedule to meet the community’s needs.

At the committee of the whole meeting on Aug. 31, Ian Morrison, director for Cowichan Lake South/Skutz Falls, said the district seems to be having substantial capital-equipment failures on a number of fronts and that it’s a hit-and-miss scenario these days whether collection schedules will be met due to the “almost catastrophic” failures of the curbside collection trucks.

RELATED STORY: MASS TRUCK BREAKDOWN DELAYS CVRD CURBSIDE COLLECTION

“I don’t want to suggest that staff is doing its best with duct tape and bailing wire, but that seems to be the sense in the community,” he said.

“Are we keeping our heads above water in regards to keeping our equipment functioning and on the road, and have we looked at bringing in other equipment to fill the gaps?”

Over just a single week earlier this summer, one of the CVRD’s curbside-collection trucks experienced a full engine failure and fire, which resulted in the truck being taken off the road as the engine had to be rebuilt, then a second truck experienced a leaf-spring failure that kept it out of operation until repairs were made, and then the third collection truck experienced a significant hydraulic line failure.

RELATED STORY: CVRD LOOKS FOR PUBLIC INPUT ON DOING MORE WASTE COLLECTION IN ELECTORAL AREAS

Doug Stevens, the CVRD’s manager of solid waste operations, said that when the district acquires the rental truck, at a cost of $10,000 a month, two trucks will do curbside collection through a six-day week which will allow his department to pull the third truck out of service for an extended period of time to do the necessary repairs and maintenance, and then put it back into service and then take the next truck and do whatever work is required.

“As you know, our trucks are in very poor condition,” he said.

“We’ve ordered two new collection trucks this year, but it will take between 18 to 22 months before they are delivered.”

Morrison asked about other equipment failures and required building work in solid waste operations.

Stevens said he has only been with the CVRD for a short time, but he has assessed and prioritized some of the more necessary repairs and upgrades that are required, and some have already been dealt with.

“We have slipped off a bit, but I think we’re on a good trajectory to getting back on track,” he said.



robert.barron@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

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