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Regional District of Nanaimo to expand curbside program to include yard, garden waste

Residents can top up organic carts with leaves, grass trimmings
(PQB News file photo)

The Regional District of Nanaimo is expanding its curbside organics program.

As of March 1, the RDN will be accepting yard and garden material in the City of Parksville, the Town of Qualicum Beach, Electoral Areas A, B, C, E, F, G, H and District of Lantzville. Residents can top up their organic carts with leaves, grass trimmings and light yard trimmings such as twigs and small branches.

This service expansion provides residents with a convenient, cost-effective way to dispose of their yard and garden material while helping the RDN to increase organic material diversion and improve air quality through reduced greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). Lower emissions will be achieved through a decrease in backyard burning and fewer visits to the Church Road Transfer Station and Regional Landfill by residents and haulers to dispose of organic yard material.

“The collection and conversion of leaves, grass and light yard trimmings into compost throughout the region supports both a circular economy and helps the RDN get closer to its 90 per cent waste diversion goal,” said Vanessa Craig, RDN Chair. “We are grateful to receive a Clean BC grant and to work collaboratively with our waste management partners to roll out the expanded organics program that will benefit both residents and the environment.”

The expanded Curbside Organics Program is funded in part by a grant through the Clean BC - Organics Infrastructure and Collection Program by the provincial government and RDN Curbside reserve funds. This funding, combined with favourable contracts with the curbside contractor, Waste Connections Canada, and Convertus, where the region’s food waste gets composted, has allowed the RDN to provide the new service with a one per cent increase (approximately $2 per household) in the curbside utility fee for 2023 and again in 2024. This increase is separate from the 3 per cent fee increase for general curbside service.

READ MORE: Regional District of Nanaimo wants new buildings to have 3 separate bins for garbage, food waste and recycling

Residents can top up their current 100-litre organics cart with leaves, grass and light yard trimmings during this first phase of the program. Light yard trimmings include twigs, small branches and prunings that are less than 1.5 cm (0.5 inches) in diameter and no longer than 60 cm (2 feet). To ensure collection, the lid of the organics cart must be able to fully close. In 2023, the RDN will monitor the program, conduct public surveys and meet with residents to understand what level of service best fits their unique needs.

The information, along with a recommendation, will be presented to the RDN Board in early 2024. For more information on the expanded Curbside Organics Program, visit

Residents should note that although organic waste from yards is now accepted, the following priority invasive plants cannot be placed in the organics cart and must be disposed of at the landfill due to their toxicity and/or seeds being resistant to the composting process: giant hogweed, invasive knotweeds, garlic mustard, spotted knapweed, wild chervil, poison hemlock and gorse.

To learn more about invasive plants in our region, visit and to learn how to dispose of them, visit

— NEWS Staff, submitted

About the Author: Parksville Qualicum Beach News Staff

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