Municipal food and yard waste pick up is coming to Campbell River this year.
On Jan. 9, Comox Strathcona Waste Management (CSWM) announced their plans to grow the food and yard waste program. Starting this spring, Campbell River residents in eligible households will be receiving new kitchen bins for compost. Residents in Courtenay, Comox and Cumberland are to receive their bins starting immediately.
The bins are for food waste. The idea is to collect food waste directly from kitchens, and transfer that waste to larger bins outside to be mixed with yard waste and set out for pickup on designated collection days.
The waste will then be transported to the new CSWM composting facility in Campbell River, which will be fully operational this year. A transfer station in the Comox Valley will handle the waste from those communities.
“The new CSWM composting facility in Campbell River and transfer station in the Comox Valley will be fully operational in 2023 and be able to process the food and yard waste from the 30,000 residents in the region participating in this service,” said CSWM Co-Chair Mark Baker.
Food and yard waste emit methane once they are in the landfill. Methane is a greenhouse gas that has roughly 30 times more warming power than carbon dioxide. Cutting down on food going into the landfill will greatly reduce that impact, and ensure the waste product is turned into nutrient-rich and re-usable compost.
“Food and yard waste – organics – make up about 30 per cent of what our region sends to the landfill. It can be better managed by composting, and the CSWM is committed to expanding our organics program to improve our sustainability in waste management,” said CSWM Co-Chair Will Cole-Hamilton.
Reducing the amount of food waste that goes into the landfill has the added effect of extending the life of the landfill.
According to the CSWM website, “once it is full there will be a significant increase in costs to manage our waste.”
The program will accept food scraps (including meat products), food-soiled paper like napkins and pizza boxes, and yard trimmings (not including invasive plants). Paper-based kitchen bin liners will also be accepted. Plastics, liquid grease, rocks and sod, pet feces and kitty litter will all not be accepted.
Biodegradable or compostable plastics will also not be accepted in the program, as these do not reliably degrade in composting systems, and will contaminate the finished compost product.
The finished product will be used for agriculture and landscaping.
More information will be available this spring when Campbell River’s waste bins are delivered. An info packet will also be included with delivery.