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Regional district looking at reducing organic waste in landfills by increasing composting
The Regional District of Okanagan-Similkameen (RDOS) is taking a hard look at the potential of reducing organic waste at its landfills by increasing composting functions.
The Board of Directors last week approved a $220,025 project to assess the Regional District’s four landfills and five other publically held facilities to better understand the composting capability at each site.
The project supports the Regional District’s commitment to building and sustaining an environmentally responsible community.
“About 40 per cent of all waste we [put in the] landfill is food stuffs and other organic materials,” explained Doug French, Public Works Manager.
“These materials can be composted, which is extremely beneficial to the environment. But when we throw them in plastic bags and dump them in the landfill, all we accomplish is filling up our landfills that much faster.”
The project, to be managed by Tetra Tech’s organic projects team, will help determine whether capital or operational improvements for existing composting sites at landfills are appropriate or whether local governments can partner to create centralized sites.
“The project should also help us improve current composting operations at our landfills,” said French, explaining the Regional District and its municipal partners already compost yard waste, lagoon sludge and bio-solids.
The Regional District has applied for a $175,000 grant from the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Green Municipal Fund for the project.
A decision on grant funding is expected later this month. In the meantime, funding for the project will be through the Solid Waste Management Plan.
Town of Osoyoos council agreed at the beginning of budget deliberations on Tuesday to increase the tipping fees at its local landfill from $72 to $82 per tonne.
Council refused to increase the fees to $90 per tonne as recommended by staff in the town’s 2014 draft budget.
Members of council heard the Osoyoos landfill still makes a slight profit but generated $100,000 less in revenues than projected last year.
SPECIAL TO THE TIMES