VICTORIA – British Columbia is partnering with the federal and local governments on a new Organics Infrastructure Program. The $30-million program will help communities expand their infrastructure, diverting organic waste away from landfills.
It will also help the Province meet its CleanBC commitment to help communities achieve 95 percent organic waste diversion for agricultural, industrial and municipal waste.
“This program will help communities, the Province and Canada meet our shared climate action goals,” said George Heyman, B.C.’s minister of environment and climate change strategy.
“It will also help build B.C.’s clean economy by creating green jobs and setting the stage for the economic opportunities that come from the reuse of organic materials.”
Organic waste currently represents 40 percent of material sent to municipal landfills in B.C. and generates 7.5 percent of the province’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In total, the projects are expected to reduce nearly 300,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent over the next decade. This is like removing more than 100,000 cars from the roads for a year.
The Organics Infrastructure Program combines $10 million in federal funding from the Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund, $10 million from the Province and $10 million in matching funds from local government applicants and their partners.
Among the projects are two from the Central Kootenay Regional District — Central landfill composting facility and the Creston landfill composting facility — that, together, provide the region with food-waste processing capacity for the first time.
Another recipient is the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality’s worm composting facility. It will divert organic waste from Fort Nelson’s landfill and create high-quality soil.
“These new projects will improve organics diversion across the province,” said Maja Tait, president of the Union of B.C. Municipalities.
“The result will be reduced GHG emissions from landfills, moving the needle forward in the attainment of CleanBC goals. I am very appreciative of the continuing support provided by the federal and provincial governments to expand organics infrastructure in B.C. communities.”
Twelve projects have finalized agreements to date. Additional projects are expected to come on board in the coming months. The initial projects are expected to break ground starting in the spring.
The detailed list of projects follows:
Funding supports 12 projects across 10 B.C. regions. Additional projects are expected to be approved in the coming months. The dollar values below represent the provincial funding portion only. The money will be distributed over three fiscal years to support project planning, design and construction.
Central Coast organics compost diversion initiative (Phase 1): $49,092
Projected GHG reductions (tCO2e): 950
This project, led by the Central Coast Regional District, is the first phase of a composting facility that will allow Bella Coola to divert organic waste from its landfill for the first time and enhance services to the Nuxalk Nation.
Central landfill composting facility: $776,053
Projected GHG reductions (tCO2e): 68,873
Creston landfill composting facility: $ 485,745
Projected GHG reductions (tCO2e): 15,890
Two complementary projects, led by the Regional District of Central Kootenay, will provide processing capacity for food waste for the first time in the regional district. These projects represent strong partnerships within and outside the regional district as one of the facilities will also service part of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary.
Revelstoke composting facility: $100,000
Projected GHG reductions (tCO2e): 61,465
This project, led by the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, will allow residents and businesses from the City of Revelstoke and Electoral Area B to divert food waste from the landfill for the first time. Over half the waste entering the Revelstoke landfill is organic. This project will create a usable compost product, prolong the existing landfill life and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
This project, led by the Comox Valley Regional District, means the communities of Campbell River, Courtenay, Comox and Cumberland will be able to compost an extra 1,625 tonnes of food waste per year, supporting the regional district’s waste diversion target of 70% by 2022.
There are three projects being funded in the Regional District of East Kootenay that work together to support a regional system. These projects are in the Columbia Valley, Elk Valley and central subregions, providing coverage throughout the region.
East Kootenay regionally integrated resource recovery network: Columbia Valley site: $333,160
Projected GHG reductions (tCO2e): 25,442
East Kootenay regionally integrated resource recovery network: central sub-region site: $333,160
Projected GHG reductions (tCO2e): 13,539
East Kootenay regionally integrated resource recovery network: Elk Valley site: $333,160
Projected GHG reductions (tCO2e): 42,563
Regional District of Kootenay Boundary organics diversion expansion project: $1,182,006
Projected GHG reductions (tCO2e): 2,873
This project will expand the regional district’s organics processing capacity to include food-waste materials from the industrial, commercial and institutional sector throughout the Boundary region and initiate food-waste collection for residents of Greenwood. This expanded facility will primarily process food waste, wood, yard and garden waste from the City of Grand Forks.
This project will divert organic waste from Fort Nelson’s landfill through a vermicomposting facility; red wiggler worms work with fungi, bacteria and other invertebrates to transform organic matter into “castings,” which can be used in municipal landscaping or residential gardening.
Oliver landfill residential food waste compost facility: $400,000
Projected GHG reductions (tCO2e): 4,014
This project, led by the regional district, provides the Oliver and Osoyoos landfill service areas with a new composting facility that will process residential food waste, agricultural waste and yard waste. This project is part of a larger regional strategy to manage organic wastes in the regional district.
Summerland organics processing facility: $790,500
Projected GHG reductions (tCO2e): 24,548
The District of Summerland will benefit from the relocated organics processing site as the move will increase capacity, upgrade operational and environmental technology and create high-quality Class A compost streams. The project will divert additional organic waste, preventing it from being landfilled and, therefore, reduce greenhouse gases, while prolonging the existing landfill life.