P.A.N. Disposal is looking for support from the community because it fears its future may be in jeopardy as the Cowichan Valley Regional District looks to what it’s going to do about waste disposal in the years to come.
P.A.N. is a family owned and operated waste disposal company that has been in business since 1980 servicing its customers in Shawnigan Lake, Cobble Hill and Mill Bay.
Owner Andrea Davis said the ongoing update to the CVRD’s waste management plan may put P.A.N. out of business as the district prepares to set out its plans and goals for managing waste for the next 10 years.
She said she fears the province is encouraging the CVRD to consider putting all waste services in its electoral areas to tender for businesses to bid on.
A statement from Jon Lefebure, chairman of the CVRD, said no decisions have been made yet as to how the CVRD wants to move forward with its waste-management plans, and there’s nothing in the draft plan to suggest that P.A.N. Disposal or any other company will be put out of business.
“We think it’s only fair if another company wants to come in here and challenge us for our business in this area, but what the CVRD seems to want to do is just replace the services that we already provide, and that people are happy with,” Davis said.
Davis, who was a business representative on the CVRD’s planning advisory committee on waste management during the ongoing review, acknowledged that there are no concrete plans yet in place to sideline P.A.N., but she fears it will be the end result of the process.
“We’ve invested in this area and provide a flexible service that meets the needs of our customers,” she said.
“With our service, people pay for the disposal of the waste they create so many people are diligent and don’t create a lot. Under a universal system, everyone would pay the same, so those who create less waste would be unfairly subsidizing those who create more.”
The CVRD will hold an open house seeking public input into the process at Cobble Hill Hall on Sept. 11, beginning at 5 p.m., and Davis said she wants people to attend and support P.A.N.
Lefebure said the draft plan for waste management, which is required by the province, provides a series of recommendations to help address serious waste-management issues within the region.
He said one of those recommendations is to extend curbside collection of garbage and organics to all households.
“Known as universal service, this model is shown to reduce the amount of garbage produced by individual households and is a proven tool for managing the amount of waste that gets shipped to the landfill, and the cost to taxpayers for that shipment,” Lefebure said.
“There is no determination within the plan that specifies who will provide the service. If the draft plan is approved by the CVRD’s board, a business case will be prepared to determine the most efficient and cost-effective model for service delivery.”
Lefebure encourages people to visit the CVRD’s website to view the draft plan and to learn more about the amendment process, and to attend any of the public meetings scheduled through the coming weeks.
A survey is also available online until Sept. 14.