Curbside collection of organic materials is moving forward in Castlegar and Creston. File photo

Curbside collection of organic materials is moving forward in Castlegar and Creston. File photo

Curbside collection of organics in Castlegar and Creston one step closer

Large grant means collections plans moving forward for 2022

The cities of Castlegar and Creston are one step closer to curbside collection of organics after the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) was awarded a $1.2 million grant to support the establishment of the service.

The money comes from the province’s CleanBC Organics Infrastructure and Collection Program (OICP) grant. It will contribute two-thirds of eligible costs (up to $1,196,057) for establishing curbside collection in Castlegar and Creston in 2022. The RDCK will contribute the remaining one-third, up to $598,028.

According to the RDCK, the funds will also support the future launch of other curbside collection services within the RDCK.

The grant money will be used to pay for containers, educational materials, and staffing support.

OICP funding will also support in-depth consultation with residents living in other electoral areas under consideration for curbside collection services in 2023.

“This project is a positive step in addressing climate change,” said Aimee Watson, RDCK Board Chair. “Needlessly landfilling food and other clean organic wastes creates a lot of methane, a major greenhouse gas; developing regional composting facilities will not only significantly reduce emissions, but also enable what is currently being processed as waste to be turned into a valuable resource – an all around win for the region.”

RDCK Staff will work closely with their municipal partners to maximize grant dollars by sharing communication and education resources and ensuring that messaging is consistent throughout the region.

“We are always excited about collaborating with our municipal and regional partners to save money on new services for our residents,” said Castlegar Mayor Kirk Duff. “This grant will help Castlegar prepare for the successful launch and implementation of the new curbside organics collection program which reduces garbage accumulation and organic waste going to the landfill.”

While not under OICP grant funding, the City of Nelson will be using an alternative to the conventional curbside collection by incorporation of a cleantech solution to divert organics from the waste stream; the new program is expected to roll out in 2022.

Curbside services in Castlegar, Creston, and Nelson will service approximately 10,074 households, but the RDCK says there is a strong business case for curbside collection in portions of RDCK electoral areas, which could increase the program size by an additional 8,707 households.

Compost facility construction is underway, with the Creston and Central (Salmo) compost facilities expected to be operational by spring and fall of 2022, respectively. Both compost facilities received two-thirds funding through federal and provincial grants.

RELATED: Construction of RDCK compost facility to begin this year

The Ootischenia Landfill and Grohman Narrows Transfer Station will both undergo upgrades in 2022 to facilitate organics collection and transfer.

“This grant funding is a great compliment to our composting program starting operations in 2022,” said Amy Wilson, RDCK resource recovery manager. “The Creston, Central (Salmo), Grohman, and Ootischenia facilities will be accepting both residential and commercial organics, including all the food waste that doesn’t belong in your backyard compost like meats, bones, fats, sauces, and soiled paper. This additional grant funding will kick-start these new curbside collection programs resulting in higher organics diversion.”

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