The Regional District of Central Kootenay will officially open its new composting facility at the Creston landfill June 21.
This signals the beginning of curbside collection of compostable material in Creston, the first of a planned series of similar initiatives throughout the West Kootenay.
“Within B.C., residential organic waste makes up approximately 35 per cent of material sent to landfills,” said an RDCK statement on June 17. “In the quest for zero waste, the RDCK’s new program will help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, save landfill capacity and reduce leachate impacts.”
Leachate is the contaminated liquid running through a solid waste disposal site.
“Annually, the compost facilities in Creston and eventually Salmo are expected to divert over 2,000 tonnes of organic waste from entering the landfill, resulting in big wins towards meeting our climate action goals,” said the RDCK’s resource recovery manager Amy Wilson.
In October, a new composting facility at the former landfill site near Salmo will begin receiving organic waste from curbside collection in Nelson, Castlegar, and Trail, the news release states.
In combination with the two processing facilities, the RDCK is also upgrading both the Ootischenia landfill and Grohman Narrows (Nelson) transfer areas to accept organic waste that will be transported to the Salmo facility.
Ootischenia will start accepting material once the Salmo facility is completed, and Grohman Narrows may be in operation by the early fall, according to the news release.
“These transfer facilities will offer services to commercial haulers and allow businesses and residents to come drop it off themselves at a reduced fee compared to garbage.”
The facilities in Creston and Salmo will feature forced aeration composting technology. Collected organic waste will be received at both facilities in large mixing buildings. Food waste will be combined with clean wood and yard and garden waste in a specialized mixing unit.
Once mixed, the material will be transported to aerated windrows. Windrows are linear piles of organic waste. The aeration process uses fans connected to perforated pipes located underneath the piles.
This system maintains oxygen and temperature levels, which promotes active decomposition, limits odour generation, and prevents the piles from producing methane through decomposition.
The entire process takes approximately 12 weeks from start to finish, depending on the season, and will produce a product that can be used anywhere, including home gardens.
The RDCK organics program has so far been funded by federal and provincial grants.
The Town of Creston, over the last few weeks, has provided residents with a kitchen catcher for food scraps as well as a green food waste cart and a blue recycling bin, both for curbside collection. Starting this week, kitchen scraps will be picked up every week from the green food waste carts.
The RDCK is also working on plans to pick up organics from businesses and from rural residents across the region.
“Almost half the organic waste landfilled is generated by the commercial sector,” said Wilson. “The RDCK will be engaging with commercial haulers, institutions, and business to develop plans for incorporating organics diversion into their waste management programs.
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