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Burning banned in Castlegar and surrounding area

Provincial orders are prohibiting Category 2 and 3 open burning at this time.

A lot of people have been using their time stuck at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic to catch up on yard work — raking, cleaning, sweeping and then burning the waste.

Spring yard clean-up is a necessary thing after months of snow, but burning that waste is a real problem.

The City of Castlegar always has a ban on burning yard and garden waste.

On March 26, the province added open burning prohibitions for most of the populated areas around the province. This ban cover Category 2 and 3 fires, but does not include small camp fires. But any fire larger than three metres across or two metres high is prohibited.

The provincial prohibition was put in place in order to ensure better air quality for those who are suffering with COVID-19 and to help reduce the spread of the illness. It includes the cities and towns in the West Kootenay and the rural areas that surround them.

RELATED: Increased coronavirus cases spark B.C.-wide burning restrictions

The City of Castlegar’s ban also always includes construction or demolition material and you may find yourself paying a $500 fine if you break the rules.

Castlegar residents have two options for grass, lawn and hedge clippings, flowers, weeds, leaves, vegetable stalks, shrubs, and branches less than 75 mm in diameter — curbside pickup on April 14-15 or May 19-20, or drop off at the city’s yard waste composting facility at the Castlegar Community Complex.

Instructions for how to prepare your waste for pickup or drop off can be found on the city’s website.

For rural residents, waste items can usually be taken to landfills, but the Regional District of Central Kootenay is advising against it for the time being.

“While isolation at home is a great opportunity to do yard work, purge your closets, or complete renovations, waste materials from these projects can remain at home for now,” caution RDCK staff.

The RDCK has suspended payments for the time being at landfills, but has placed limits on what you can bring and how often you can come.

Residential loads will be limited to household garbage only, and no bulky items will be accepted. Only one pick-up truck load (or equivalent) per customer per week will be accepted.

RELATED: RDCK takes measures to protect onsite waste and recycling staff

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Betsy Kline

About the Author: Betsy Kline

After spending several years as a freelance writer for the Castlegar News, Betsy joined the editorial staff as a reporter in March of 2015. In 2020, she moved into the editor's position.
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