Burning of leaves and green brush linked to health programs according to RDOS

The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen is advising residents not to burn wet leaves, thatch and brush. Smoke from burning can create serious health problems. Instead leaves and brush can be put out for yard waste collection in March, brought to a local landfill for free drop-off or composted at home.

Wet leaves, thatch and green brush are potent sources of smoke when burnt. Thick bellowing smoke contains soot, dust and fine particulates that can cause serious health problems for children, seniors and people with respiratory issues. Fine particulates in smoke have been linked to increases in heart and lung disease and cancer. The Okanagan and Similkameen Valleys can trap smoke causing a buildup of particulates.

Residents have a number of ways to dispose of leaves, thatch and green brush. In March, homes in most of the RDOS will receive yard waste collections. Residents receiving curbside collection can place out an unlimited amount of leaves and brush in paper yard waste bags or reusable containers like garbage cans. Home owners can check for the dates of yard waste collections by contacting their local government. All landfills within the RDOS can also take, free of charge, up to 500 kg of compostable yard waste per trip.

Leaves can also be composted beautifully at home. Leaves are designed to break down quickly creating nutrient rich compost that can be applied to lawns or gardens. From March 1st to 23rd, businesses and local governments across the RDOS will be pre-selling residential compost bins at wholesale prices. For details on the compost bin sale or for tips on how to compost contact the RDOS at www.rdos.bc.ca or call 250-490-4129.


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