City Launches Pilot for Seasonal Excess Yard Waste Drop-off

March 21, 2024

City of Courtenay residents with excess yard waste this spring now have another option for responsible disposal, with a new drop-off collection point at the end of McKenzie Avenue available for a limited time.

The free seasonal yard waste drop-off pilot program is open to Courtenay residents receiving curbside collection through the City who have excess yard waste that does not fit into their curbside collection container. The yard waste drop-off is open Monday to Friday from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., excluding statutory holidays, until May 31, 2024.

“We understand some properties generate more yard waste than others, especially as residents get their yards and gardens ready for spring,” said Chris Thompson, Manager of Solid Waste at the City of Courtenay.

“We’re launching this new drop-off collection point as another option for City residents who need it. Staff will be monitoring resident interest in the pilot program, as well as overall compliance with the program, to determine how to offer this service again in the fall.”

McKenzie Avenue is located next to the City Operations Yard (formerly Public Works) and is accessed from Cumberland Road just west of the train tracks between McPhee and Piercy avenues.

Accepted materials for drop-off include leaves, grass clippings, flowers, plants and small branches less than 3 inches in diameter. Materials can be either loose or contained in a paper yard waste bag.

“It’s important that collected materials are clean,” said Thompson. “We ask residents to please ensure their yard waste is free of things like dog toys, plant pots and tags, or any other debris.”

Plastic bags, even if they are labeled compostable/biodegradable, are not accepted at the drop-off or in curbside organics carts. Food waste and food-soiled paper are not accepted at the drop-off point and should go in each household’s curbside organics cart.

City staff will be monitoring the drop-off point throughout the day. Yard waste collected through the pilot program will be composted. Should a resident require assistance unloading, once on-site, they may call City Operations at 250-338-1525 so a staff member can assist.

Yard waste volumes fluctuate widely through the year, with spring and fall seeing the highest volumes of yard debris. In previous years, this overwhelmed the collection contractor’s capacity at peak times, resulting in collection delays cascading across each zone. The new automated collection system launched earlier this year with standard curbside organics bins is expected to support a more balanced and regular collection schedule.

Residents who regularly need to dispose of larger amounts of yard waste have the option to request an extra organics cart from the City for an additional annual fee. To learn more about this option, email the City’s solid waste team at

For more information on the seasonal yard waste drop-off pilot project and curbside organics collection, visit