When the Columbia Shuswap Regional District reviews its waste management plan next year, the results of a recent waste audit at the Sicamous landfill will be up for discussion.
The results of a Tri Environmental Consulting Inc. waste audit completed at the landfill between Sept. 7 and 9 revealed that about 70 per cent of the material going into the landfill, which serves some 3,500 residents could be recycled.
A total of 10 waste samples, each weighing approximately 100 kilograms were collected and analyzed.
Each sample was classified according to one of the following sources – residential curb side program, residential self-haul, industrial, commercial and institutional or from transfer stations.
All Samples were then sorted into 12 primary categories, 46 secondary categories and 59 tertiary categories.
Analysis of the overall waste composition entering the Sicamous landfill revealed that 35.7 per cent is compostable organics – including yard and garden waste, food scraps and clean wood.
Plastic and paper were the second and third largest categories at 16.9 per cent each. Glass and metals contributed six per cent and 5.1 per cent respectively.
The greatest quantity came from the residential self-haul sector where 3.4 per cent of the total mass was electronic waste – three times more than the residential curb side sector, which in Sicamous, is subscription based.
Most of the electronic items found in the audit are included in various recycling programs in B.C., including computers, audio equipment, small appliances, power tools and lighting equipment.
Small household batteries, oil containers and paint thinners, which are also recyclable in this province, accounted for 1.5 per cent.
CSRD waste management co-ordinator Ben Van Nostrand notes there is a slight (“and slight is being generous”) increase in the percentage of recyclables entering the Sicamous landfill compared to other landfills in the regional district.
“Maybe people are doing the right thing by taking it to the depot, which costs way more than a curbside program,” he says.
Van Nostrand points out that because the District of Sicamous turned down a curb side recycling program in 2011, they are too late for the cost-saving Materials Management BC program that will be implemented across the regional district next year.
“They were the only municipality not to get on-board with what was in the waste management plan,” he says. “We have said we’ll run the depots, but there will be changes. It won’t be like the big green bin.”
However, Van Nostrand says that those who now pay for private curb side pick-up service will see no changes.
CSRD staff made a presentation to Sicamous’ committee of a whole meeting Oct. 9, explaining the MMBC program, why Sicamous isn’t in and how they could get in by implementing a curb side program over the next couple of years.
“You had to have a plan in place in 2012 in order to get on. But MMBC will review the program within a couple of years, at which point they may say whoever has a curb side plan now may be included in the program that will give them the financial incentives,” Van Nostrand says.