RDCK workshop looks at a composting program for West Kootenay

The RDCK is asking municipal councils and boards to advise if they intend to participate

Curbside composting could finally be coming to our region. Courtesy RDCK

Last week the Regional District of Central Kootenay hosted a workshop about a proposed regional-scale composting program. This program will initially target the processing of organic waste from municipal curbside collection and the commercial sector. The RDCK is asking municipal councils and boards to advise if they intend to participate in the program proposed to start by 2022.

“Organic waste diversion is a key component of our resource recovery plan update, which will dictate our operations and capital work for the next five-plus years,” said Uli Wolf, general manager of environmental services at the RDCK. “A regional-scale composting system would provide numerous environmental and economic benefits for our entire region, and those benefits are best realized if all the municipalities are on board.”

Attendees — including staff and elected representatives from RDCK municipalities and the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary — were given an update on the development of various composting options and updated cost estimates for composting operations and municipal curbside collection. They were also given an overview of the benefits of organics diversion programs: they help conserve landfill space, reduce leachate and greenhouse gas emissions, and produce a useful product in the form of compost.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary is actively pursuing opportunities for implementation of food waste organics composting for communities in the eastern portion of the region, including potentially partnering with the RDCK on their initiative.

“Together, benefits can be achieved and this is another way residents can contribute to mitigating the impacts of climate change while producing a locally beneficial end product,” said Janine Dougall, general manager of environmental services at the RDKB.

“The benefits of an organics program are clear, but we also know that some municipalities might have concerns with cost of implementation,” said Amy Wilson, RDCK resource recovery manager. “The cost differential depends on various factors, including the level of service that already exists. While some municipalities may see a much bigger bump than others, the total cost for garbage, recycling, and organics in each municipality is anticipated to be in line with what other municipalities are paying.”

Wilson says people across the district who already do their own backyard composting would be encouraged to keep doing so. A regional composting facility would supplement those efforts by also processing organic waste that can’t go in backyard composters, such as meat, breads, fats, and food-soiled paper. Curbside collection in the three largest municipalities would capture almost half the food waste produced district-wide. Alternatives to curbside collection simply do not divert as much, and smaller-scale technologies have many unknown costs and specifications.

“Following a screening process, the RDCK has been invited to apply for the organics infrastructure program, a grant available through a partnership between federal, provincial, and local governments. The grant would fund up to two-thirds of the development of a composting facility site on an RDCK landfill with all the required permits in place,” said Wilson. “In order to build the right size facility, we need to know which municipalities will participate by collecting curbside organics and how much volume can be anticipated.

“We know the government is heading in this direction, and future restrictions or legislation will demand even more changes to the way we manage waste,” Wilson conntinued. “From our perspective, it’s not a matter of if but when we are required to have significant food waste diversion in place. We look forward to working with our municipal partners towards a program that benefits everyone.”

 

A regional composting system is under consideration by the regional districts of Central Kootenay and Kootenay Boundary. Courtesy RDCK

Just Posted

Update: Bodies recovered from Pend d’Oreille River crash

To help support the family, a fundraiser has been set up at Kootenay Savings in Fruitvale

Paramedics union raises alarm over spike in out-of-service ambulances

Staffing shortages affecting service levels in Kootenays

Split council vote changes Castlegar infrastructure levy from five to seven years

Major industry will be seeing a tax increase over the next seven years as well.

South Okanagan-Kootenay MP calls federal budget ‘not bold enough’

Richard Cannings, MP for South OK and Kootenay communities says budget missed the mark

Spring has sprung in the Kootenays

Showers and temperatures near the seasonal norm of 10 C are expected by Sunday

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

40 records broken across B.C. as hot streak continues

Abbotsford hottest spot in Canada on Tuesday

B.C. wildfire prevention budget bulked up as dry spring unfolds

Night vision goggles tested for early detection effort

Vancouver driver ticketed twice within 6 minutes for same offence

The man was written up by two different officers for using an electronic device

B.C. teacher reprimanded after incident with Grade 11 student in school gym

Gregory Norman Brock was teaching at a high school in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District

B.C. man ‘parks’ horse during liquor store pit stop

As long as animal wasn’t jaywalking, no problem, says Parksville official

Starbucks to test recyclable cups, redesign stores in B.C., U.S. cities

The company also said it plans to redesign its stores as it adapts to increasing mobile pick-up and delivery orders

In pre-election budget, Liberals boost infrastructure cash to cities, broadband

The budget document says the Liberals have approved more than 33,000 projects, worth about $19.9 billion in federal financing

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Most Read