One aspect of the City’s new organics composting program is in the bin.

Late last month the Regional District of Central Kootenay board of directors approved funding for the City of Nelson’s two organics community drop-off bins, one Public Works hopper and installation — plus a 20 per cent contingency if required — up to a total cost of $38,155.38.

After a letter to the Joint Resource Recovery committee dated March 24, the recommendation from the committee was forwarded to the board for approval, to be paid out from Central Resource Recovery.

All material received in the bins that is not being used for City of Nelson municipal parks projects must be delivered to an RDCK facility, where it must be delivered in a “dry state.” 

Starting the waive

On another organic-related note, the RDCK board approved a committee recommendation to direct regional district staff to initiate a pilot of the first organic container waived tipping fee and return to the Joint Resource Recovery Committee within three months to report on the program and obtain further direction. 

Source: RDCK July 20 agenda

Let the composting begin

In May, the City opened the door to the next phase of residential composting with the approval for the launch of organics diversion pilot program, through an amendment to the Waste Management and Wildife Attractant Bylaw.

Using countertop appliances to pre-treat household organics, around 1,600 households in the Fairview neighbourhood of Nelson — as well as early adopters who took part in an earlier pilot program — were selected to form the core of the program.

“Over the next few months a vague launch of the home composting program — via the product called the FoodCycler — will begin with the first shipment of 1,600 home composting units before the end of the year,” said City climate and energy manager Carmen Procter, in her report to council.

A $700,000 “grant” was used to fund the program that takes home waste organic matter and turns it into material ready for composting. Organics are expected to be collected from Nelsonites once the program is fully operational, but it could be some time before that happens. 

“This is one more piece of the puzzle to be inserted to move on and get the recyclers out the door and into a kitchen near you,” said Mayor Janice Morrison during the council meeting May 9 in council chambers.

Source: The Nelson Daily, May 9

Long time running

Four years ago the investigation into curbside compost collection in Nelson began, after the regional district brought forward the idea of diverting the waste.

An RDCK Joint Resource Recovery meeting that year revealed the opportunity to apply for funding through the provincial Organic Infrastructure Program Fund (OIP) to set up a regional composting program and a compost processing facility.

At the time the city disputed some of the assumptions the RDCK made around curbside collection without actually knowing the real consequence and circumstance in the city regarding garbage collection.

“I do not believe our community produces garbage at a rate similar to our neighbouring communities and they assume that we do without even knowing our community,” said Nelson city manager Kevin Cormack.

He thought the regional district should develop a study on how many people from Nelson were actually dumping garbage at the transfer station. The authors of the regional district report noted that the total tonnage of residential garbage collected at the curb in Nelson (626 tonnes in 2017) was low, as much as a third lower than neighbouring municipalities. 

“This could be attributed to the proximity to the Grohman Narrows Transfer Station for residents who prefer to self-haul their garbage between the scheduled bi-weekly collection days, coupled with a reluctance to pre-purchase disposal tags and the bags,” the RDCK staff report at the time read.

Anecdotal evidence from transfer station staff estimated that over one third of users bringing household waste to the facility were Nelson residents, the regional district report noted. 

“But that is pretty critical in a number of assumptions that they are making,” Cormack pointed out.

The discussion was the beginning of Nelson’s quest to deliver its own curbside service, and the regional district setting up its own region-wide service.

Source: The Nelson Daily, Oct. 26, 2022

By Timothy Schafer, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Aug 06, 2023 at 01:39

This item reprinted with permission from   The Nelson Daily   Nelson, British Columbia
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