Food waste is next on the regional district’s menu of items to divert from landfills.
A 30-week food waste diversion trial will take place in some electoral areas of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District.
The board had endorsed an organics diversion strategy at the November board meeting which includes a strategy to achieve a CSRD-wide food disposal ban by 2020.
At last week’s board meeting in Salmon Arm, directors were asked to approve $25,000 from the Electoral Area D Community Works Fund to place and process receptacles for the weekly collection of food waste at transfer stations in Falkland/Salmon Valley/Ranchero, North Shuswap, South Shuswap, Rural Sicamous and Rural Revelstoke.
Environmental Health Services team leader Ben Van Nostrand told directors that Area D director Rene Talbot supports the removal of food from landfills and was agreeable to coughing up the money for a trial program.
The trial will not be open to everyone.
Van Nostrand explained that people who want to take part will be given instruction along with kitchen catchers for their home bins and a key to access the locked bins.
“We’re looking for homeowners who want to divert food waste,” he said of the bins that will be located at Falkland, Skimikin, Glenemma, Malakwa and Scotch Creek transfer stations as well as the Sorrento Recycling Depot and landfills in Salmon Arm, Sicamous and Revelstoke. “According to the research we’ve done in other regional districts, direct involvement with homeowners with supplies and a key for the bin is that they become the champions. It’s not a free for all.”
North Shuswap director Larry Morgan was concerned that 70 per cent of the population in his area are absentee owners, but Van Nostrand assured him visitors had taken to recycling programs well.
Salmon Arm director Chad Eliason said he was glad a local company, Spa Hills Farm will be gathering and processing the food waste as they already do in several municipal locations
“Spa Hills does a great job and hopefully we can work out the kinks and can offer it in Salmon Arm,” he said. “It’s an exciting step moving forward for the CSRD.”
Area E director and board chair Rhona Martin wanted assurances testing will be done with regard to contamination.
“They’ve been doing this for a while,” replied Van Nostrand. “I think by restricting access at the bins, contamination will be low.”
Martin then questioned why Talbot was paying for the trial in total. She told directors she would be willing to put in $10,000 from her community works fund.
“Then we should have all area directors involved put $5,000 in,” said South Shuswap director Paul Demenok.
“Thanks for coming forward, you guilted us all into it,” said Martin, drawing laughs from directors.
“This seems more successful than I thought it would be,” replied Van Nostrand.