Composting program diverting waste from landfill

Local Earth Day initiative at RHC Insurance helping reduce waste through composting

Sean Melvin


For two weeks this year, in celebration of Earth Day on Monday, April 22, the downtown Castlegar office of RHC Insurance, with the help of Gaia Janitorial Services Inc., is sending their compostables like lunch scraps, coffee grounds and used paper towels over to Selkirk College.

In 2011, Selkirk College began operating a large composting vessel as part of a pilot composting program on their Castlegar campus.

Sean Melvin, graduate of the Integrated Environmental Planning and Technology (IEPT) program at Selkirk College and owner of Gaia Janitorial Services Inc., has been weighing the garbage his company collects from the RHC Insurance downtown Castlegar office location.

“In order to give the office staff an idea of the percent of garbage they are proudly diverting from the landfill our cleaning staff have been weighing the total amount garbage thrown out every week since December of last year”, explained Melvin in a press release.  “At Gaia Janitorial Services Inc. we only provide environmentally friendly cleaning services and we thought this project would be a great way for RHC Insurance to celebrate Earth Day this year.”

The first week of composting results have been tabulated and show that the staff at the RHC Insurance downtown Castlegar office location have managed to divert 31% of their garbage by weight from the local landfill site in Ootischenia.

“As janitors we know that at least 50% of what is thrown away in the offices that we clean could be diverted from the landfill by composting. However, in the West Kootenays no composting operations like the one at Selkirk College currently exist,” said Melvin.

The composting project will continue for one more week and the results will be celebrated on Earth Day at the RHC Insurance downtown Castlegar office location with a prize awarded to the person voted most environmentally improved.


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