Oak Bay residents are waiting over two hours in a queue on Elgin Road to access the Drop Off Depot. For most residents, the visit is to get rid of a trunk full of yard waste. (Travis Paterson/News Staff)

Residents wait two hours to drop off yard waste in Oak Bay

Drop Off Depot at Oak Bay Public Works building sees long lines

Imagine waiting over an hour to move halfway along Elgin Road only to have your car battery die and have to abort.

Welcome to the queue for the Drop Off Depot at Oak Bay’s Public Works building.

The long lineups started ahead of the Easter weekend and continued on April 15.

With only three vehicles permitted in the yard waste dropoff area at a time, it creates a delay.

It’s not abnormal to see a lineup through the public works driveway back to Elgin, though residents in line said they’ve never experienced that long of a wait before.

READ ALSO: Majority of household trash going to Hartland is recyclable, compostable

A resident of 12 years, Gordon Bonn was 45 minutes into his wait to drop off yard waste and was reading the paper.

“I tried earlier [Wednesday] morning and it was even longer so I came back,” Bonn said. “People are all doing yard work, have nothing else to do, so they’re lining up to haul their rubbish and waste.”

It could be worse. Saanich’s public works drop off is currently closed.

Deb Hopkins, the information officer for Oak Bay, said the municipal transfer station typically sees an increase in usage at this time of year.

“With residents spending more time at home as a result of the pandemic, more clean-up projects are being done around the house, further adding to an already busy season at the transfer station.”

Residents should continue to anticipate delays if planning to visit the municipal transfer station due to the increased traffic and the social distancing requirements that limit the number of vehicles to three.

“It’s best for people to save up and take one large trip,” said Mayor Kevin Murdoch.

READ ALSO: Oak Bay public works crew rescues otter from culvert

Perhaps most important, be sure to turn off the car while waiting, not only for the environment but for the safety of saving their spot.

The owner of a 1998 Nissan Pathfinder was about 40 minutes into wait when the SUV suffered a dead battery. Though a Good Samaritan (the person behind her in line) was able to jumpstart the Pathfinder, she chose to abort the lineup and avoid risking another dead battery.

It happens a lot said the public works employee managing the lineup.

“We’ve never seen a lineup like this,” said Sandy and Larry Guilbert. “This is our third try. Finally. We waited until the car was full and I think everyone else’s is too.”


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