Curbside Collection: Service Disruption Update

January 19, 2022

As Courtenay residents are well aware, there has been a significant deterioration in curbside collection for recycling, garbage, and yard waste over the past several weeks. We hear your frustration, and we are sorry.   

While interruptions during weather events can be expected, our collection contractor Emterra has been unable to keep up with high seasonal volumes due to staffing levels. Emterra is now reporting staffing shortages due to an outbreak of COVID-19, both at the local level and in other parts of the province which has prevented them from implementing their staffing continuity plan that was developed in the summer of 2021.

The City of Courtenay is collaborating with the Town of Comox and the Village of Cumberland and working with Emterra to address collection issues in the region. With the uncertainty over Emterra’s current and future staffing levels due to COVID-19, it may take time to get collection schedules fully back on track. In the meantime, we thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding. Please be kind to collection crews, who have been working long hours for weeks under very challenging conditions.

Courtenay’s contract with Emterra expires in 2022. Last fall, Courtenay Council directed staff to work with our regional community partners to release a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a new contract that would modernize collection through a significant investment in equipment, including automation and a new organics collection service – streamlining services and reducing the potential for delayed or missed collection in the future. We will have much more information on this once the results of the RFP are available. 

We appreciate that your materials are piling up. Some zones have experienced multiple missed collection dates, particularly for recycling. Those wishing to drop off collected recyclables may do so free of charge at the following locations: 

  • Courtenay Return-It Depot, 493 Puntledge Road
  • Comox Valley Waste Management Centre, 3699 Bevan Road, Cumberland

For full depot and material information, and to subscribe to reminders, service alerts, and updates for your zone, please visit

Thank you.