If ideas were produce, this old one would be rotting away amongst the compost.
City staff and council continue to discuss organic waste reduction strategies, but no timelines have been set as to when collection of such material might begin.
The city’s civic operations committee has approved the development of a community waste reduction strategy for organics. Unlike other B.C. communities, Kamloops does not collect organic waste curbside, though the idea has been recycled many times in council chambers.
“I think there’s a strong appetite in the community and I think it’s something we’ve sat on for a bit too long,” Coun. Dieter Dudy said.
The committee heard from staff, however, that collecting organics is not necessarily the issue. Rather, it is what the city will do with the organics, once they are collected. The city will investigate possibilities to where that material can go.
For example, Spa Hills Compost in the Okanagan accepts organics from businesses from Armstrong to West Kelowna to Kamloops. The company lists on its website four Kamloops businesses that already utilize the service: Fresh is Best, Kam Lake-View Meats, Nature’s Fare Markets and Romeo’s Kitchen and Spirits.
Dudy suggested the city could follow models for curbside organics collection already established in other communities.
“We don’t necessarily need to reinvent the wheel,” he said.
The city’s environmental services manager, Glen Farrow, agreed. He told KTW the city is shifting energies away from mandating commercial recycling — an idea proposed by Coun. Mike O’Reilly, but quashed by staff, due to instability in locating end markets — toward banning commercial cardboard at landfills and developing an organics program.
The city will explore both commercial and residential organics-reduction strategies.
“Part of that program, speculating, would be having an additional cart at each curb, with organics product collected each and every week and recycling and garbage would be on a rotation every other week,” Farrow said. “That’s how a lot of other communities do it.”
Farrow said the city has no specific timeline as to when such collection may be in place, citing a lack of resources. In addition, the city is also working on a long-term strategy to manage biosolids, which has been a controversial issue in the region. That strategy could include organics, but civic operations director Jen Fretz said the city has not necessarily set in stone on combining the two.
Addie de Candole, a resident who has advocated for a municipal composting program, noted the Thompson-Nicola Regional District’s solid waste management plan’s timeline to implement a program by 2024.
She said the City of Calgary launched a four-year pilot project, arguing Kamloops should start now.
“My campaign in the summer, was like ‘We have to start now. We can’t wait until 2024,” de Candole told KTW.