Local officials gathered on Tuesday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at a new organic composting facility at the Oliver, B.C., landfill.
The facility is almost ready to begin the composting process, however, the Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) still has to install some pipes.
“We just did a ribbon-cutting on the compost facility — one of the benefits of it, is it’s extending the life of the landfill in my understanding, which is really important,” said the Mayor of Oliver Martin Johansen.
“It helps people lighten up the demand on their pocketbooks and help some environmental side. So, it’s a pretty awesome project. I’m excited and congratulations to the team to help make it happen,” said MLA for Boundary-Similkameen Roly Russell.
The facility is designed to take yard waste that the landfill currently takes in but doesn’t compost.
According to RDOS Solid Waste Senior Manager, Andrew Reeder, the RDOS is looking into curbside collection in the future for food waste that can be composted alongside yard waste.
“Usually, it goes either up north to a place where it’s burned or part of our landfill here operations. This will help divert quite a bit of waste. In the future, we’re looking at diverting about 26 per cent of our organics that might be going into our landfill or more,” said Reeder.
“Curbside collection system for food waste, that will be brought here amongst with our yard waste, and all that together be composted together. Then we’ll be creating a product that we can sell.”
The facility will process compost through various stages of curing.
The end compost product will meet organic certified standards that can be used anywhere and will be available for the public to purchase.
“It started off just as a means to divert waste and really the big thing with it was expanding the life of our landfill. And by doing this, we can extend the life of our landfill by about 26 per cent — that was the real impetus behind where the project started,” said Reeder.
“From a greenhouse gas perspective, this is a way to really help reduce waste as well and I think we’re looking at about 14 per cent as a total reduction in greenhouse gases from the Oliver and Area C areas.”
Meanwhile, the project was largely funded by the Province’s Organics Infrastructure program, which provided $800,000 of the total cost of $1.9 million.
The program is cost-shared by the Government of Canada’s Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund, the provincial government, and the Regional District.
“Well needed composting system to extend the life of value all over landfill, it will give us considerably more life,” said RDOS Area C Director Rick Knodel.
“It’s been done quite nicely with a minimum load on the taxpayer — actually, there is no load at this point. So, anything that’s no burden to the taxpayer at this point in life is a good thing.”
The compost facility is expected to be fully up and running within the next month.