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Town of Creston, RDCK team with province to reduce wood stove smoke

The Ministry of Environment, RDCK and Town of Creston have once again teamed up to fund a wood stove exchange program...
Creston Town Hall is located on 10th Avenue North.

Encouraging the replacement of inefficient wood stoves is one way to improve personal air health and safety.

To that end, the Ministry of Environment, Regional District of Central Kootenay and Town of Creston have once again teamed up to fund a wood stove exchange program, according to Environment Minister Terry Lake.

“Through our wood stove exchange program, we are committed to reducing the number of old, inefficient wood stoves in B.C. and replacing them with more cost-efficient, environmentally friendly models,” Lake said. “By upgrading to a new stove and following the tips to burn smarter, British Columbians can ensure better air quality in their communities and a more positive effect on their own health.”

Lake announced that the RDCK will receive $15,750 as one of 48 regional districts the province adds to wood stove program, which will total $192,000 for 2013. The goal, he said, is to have as many as 700 woodstoves changed out during the year.

Creston town council voted Nov. 27 to continue its support, adding a $100 rebate for stoves exchanged in Creston residences, and also picking up the $20 disposal fee at the landfill for the replaced stove.

To qualify for the program, approved stoves must be used and installation must be certified.

While the program has resulted in the replacement of about 5,000 old stoves in the province since 2008, the provincial government estimates 116,000 older model stoves are still currently in use, and that they can affect the health of homeowners, their neighbours and overall airshed health.

Short of replacing their old stoves, owners can help reduce their impact by using well-seasoned wood cut into smaller pieces, a practice that increases efficiency and lowers carbon emissions. A smaller, hotter fire should give off very little sign of wood smoke and leave no odour of smoke indoors.

Creston’s participation in the program will have no impact on the town’s budget. Staffan Klassen, director of finance and corporate services, said the fund has been underutilized in recent years and money remains available.