The provincial government is putting nearly $2 million toward a regional composting program to serve Greater Trail, Castlegar, and many parts of the Regional District of Central Kootenay.
“It’s super exciting,” Nelson-Creston MLA Brittny Anderson said in an interview. “It’s going to help reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and create jobs. And we’ll be able to produce compost for our residents.”
The money will help pay for the construction of two processing facilities: one in Creston and one at the central landfill site just outside Salmo. It will also help pay for the creation of a curbside pick-up program in communities across the RDCK and Greater Trail.
The collection program will cover more than 14,500 homes in Castlegar, Creston, and all RDCK rural electoral areas except D and K, as well as more than 8,000 homes within Rossland, Warfield, Trail, Montrose, Fruitvale, and RDKB rural electoral areas A and B. A green bin collection program is already in place for 5,900 households in the Boundary.
The funding comes from the government’s CleanBC organic infrastructure and collection program. The province is picking up $1.2 million of the $1.92 million total cost of the RDCK’s end of the project and $700,000 of the RDKB’s $1.05 million portion.
Composting food waste greatly reduces greenhouse gases emitted, the RDKB said.
“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 Grace McGregor, chair of the RDKB sold waste management committee in a news release.
“Even more importantly, it will lower greenhouse gas emissions associated with managing solid waste. This has been a long-time plan of our committee.”
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 RDKB and RDCK are working together on waste reduction programs including green bin collection.
The RDKB plans to complete a separate upgrade at the McKelvey Creek regional landfill in 2022, allowing it to serve as a transfer station for organic materials. That project will be funded separately and is subject to a counterpetition process.