RDEK closes reuse centers, cities must maintain essential services – The Free Press

The East Kootenay Regional District’s six transfer station and landfill reuse centers have been temporarily closed, with the regional district saying the closure is necessary to ensure they can maintain essential services.

“We are increasingly dealing with a higher number of people in the confined space of reuse centers who do not respect social distancing and public masking measures,” said RDEK environmental services manager Kevin Paterson.

“In order to provide a layer of protection for our staff and to ensure that the sites can remain fully open, and at the request of our contractor, the decision has been taken to temporarily close the reuse centers.”

According to the RDEK statement, transfer stations and landfills remain open and operational, with only reuse centers closed.

Reuse centers are small sheds at each staffed transfer station where people can drop off undamaged items that can be picked up by others and given new life.

Paterson said maintaining essential services was of the utmost convenience, so closing reuse centers was essential to protect staff from exposure to COVID-19.

Municipalities around the East Kootenays and British Columbia have been hit hard by COVID-19 cases, with Fernie and Cranbrook warning of a reduction in services, and Sparwood noting an increase in overtime incurred.

The date for reopening the reuse centers for public use has not been announced.

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CoronavirusMunicipal Government

Michelle J. Kelley