Photo: RDKB

Photo: RDKB

Kootenay-side of regional district to see green bins in 2022

RDKB receives a $700,000 provincial grant for a green bin collection program

For those living from Rossland to Trail and the Beaver Valley who cannot compost but are willing to start — then note that food waste collection will hit curbsides next year — and it includes collection of much more than simply fruit and vegetable peels.

The Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) announced this forthcoming service for West Kootenay towns and cities last week, following the RDKB receiving a $700,000+ provincial grant for a green bin collection program.

To clarify, the RDKB already has a very successful green bin collection program in place for 5,900 households in the Boundary. This includes everything from organics, meat scraps and dairy, to leftover pasta, rice and bread to soiled paper towels, diapers, and cat litter. (A full list of accepted green bin waste is available at: rdkb.com.)

Now, an additional 8,000 households in the Kootenay-side of the regional district will benefit from green bin collection of food waste in 2022 with help from a $702,905 grant via the CleanBC Organics Infrastructure and Collection Program (OICP).

This funding will allow the RDKB to expand its green bin program to include Rossland, Warfield, Trail, Montrose, Fruitvale and Electoral Areas A and B/Lower Columbia-Old Glory.

“We are grateful to the Government of British Columbia for funding expansion of our green bin collection program,” Linda Worley, RDKB board chair, stated in a Dec. 3 news brief. “This project is a key initiative toward the RDKB addressing climate change and becoming a carbon neutral local government.”

Composting food waste greatly reduces greenhouse gases (GHGs) emitted. When organic materials like food waste are composted in an oxygen-rich environment they produce some carbon dioxide (CO2) as they break down.

If those same organic materials are buried in a landfill, they produce methane, a GHG that is up to 27 times more potent than CO2.

“This partnership with our residents to divert food waste from our landfills will reduce the financial and environmental costs that we all bear when new landfills are created,” said RDKB director Grace McGregor, chair of the RDKB Solid Waste Management Plan Steering and Monitoring Committee. “Even more importantly, it will lower green house gas emissions associated with managing solid waste. This has been a long-time plan of our committee.”

The expansion project will include food waste collection and delivery services to McKelvey Creek Regional Landfill — located in Trail — and then transfer those materials to a new composting facility at the central landfill near Salmo. This will be in partnership with the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK).

The RDKB will also provide bins, kitchen catchers and educational materials to residents; conduct a waste audit before and after the project is completed; and carry out a Bear Aware community education program.

The regional district also plans to complete a separate but integral upgrade at the Trail landfill in 2022.

Respective upgrades will allow the Trail site to serve as a transfer station for organic materials. This project will be funded separately and requires voter assent through an alternative approval process (AAP) before borrowing can occur.

More information about the McKelvey Creek landfill job and the AAP will be available early next year.

Clean BC OICP grants fund projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions by diverting organic waste from landfills to composting facilities. The province contributes up to two-thirds of eligible project costs, to facilitate the diversion and processing of organic waste.

Launched in 2020, the program is providing as much as $25.9 million over three years to communities to develop or expand their ability to divert organic waste from landfills. Through cost-sharing arrangements, funding recipients are contributing at least one-third of eligible project costs. Recipients include four First Nations communities.

The latest grant cycle involves 23 projects, including six organics infrastructure projects and 17 collection programs. More projects are expected to jump on board in coming months. Initial projects are expected to break ground in the spring.

Previously, the province partnered with federal and local governments to fund the development of 14 composting facilities in B.C. communities through the $30-million Organics Infrastructure Program.

Quick facts:

*Organic waste represents 40 per cent of material sent to municipal landfills in B.C. and generates 3.5 per cent of the province’s greenhouse gas emissions.

*It is estimated the projects announced Dec. 3 will result in a reduction of as much as 525,567 tonnes of CO2e (carbon dioxide equivalent — a standard unit for measuring carbon footprints from different GHGs — over 10 years.

*It is estimated seven new jobs are created with every 1,000 tonnes of organics diverted from landfills.

*CleanBC is targeting a reduction of 0.7 megatonnes of GHGs by 2030 by diverting organics from the municipal, agricultural and industry sectors, converting organic waste into useful products and capturing methane to be used as a cleaner fuel source.

City of TrailKootenay Boundary Regional DistrictRossland

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