An additional 8,000 households in the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary (RDKB) will benefit from green bin collection of food waste materials in 2022 thanks to a CleanBC Organics Infrastructure and Collection Program (OICP) grant of $702,905 from the Province of B.C. The funding will allow the RDKB to expand its Green Bin Curbside Collection Program to include Rossland, Warfield, Trail, Montrose, Fruitvale and Electoral Areas A and B/Lower Columbia-Old Glory. The RDKB has a green bin collection program already in place for 5,900 households in the Boundary.
“We are grateful to the Government of British Columbia for funding expansion of our green bin collection program. This project is a key initiative toward the RDKB addressing climate change and becoming a carbon neutral local government,” said RDKB Board Chair Linda Worley.
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. 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,“ said Grace McGregor, Chair of the RDKB Solid Waste Management Plan Steering and Monitoring Committee.
“Our government is committed to reducing B.C.’s carbon footprint and strengthening local economies. The Province is pleased to support the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary’s continued work to improve the region’s infrastructure and lower emissions,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
The Green Bin Curbside Collection Program Expansion project will include food waste collection and delivery services to McKelvey Creek Regional Landfill and the transfer of those materials to a new composting facility at the Central Landfill near Salmo 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 RDKB and RDCK are working collectively on waste reduction programs including green bin collection.
The RDKB plans to complete a separate but integral upgrade project at the McKelvey Creek Regional Landfill in 2022. Upgrades to the landfill will allow it to serve as a transfer station for organic materials. The upgrade project will be funded separately and requires voter assent through an alternative approval process (AAP) before borrowing can occur. More information about upgrades to the McKelvey Creek Regional Landfill and the AAP will be available in early 2022.
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.