Study approved to decide locations for smelly composting facilities
By Steve Arstad
The Regional District Okanagan - Similkameen recently received a $175,000 Green Municipal Fund grant to help pay for a compost siting feasibility study.
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January 27, 2015 - 2:39 PM
PENTICTON - A curbside program to collect kitchen and other organic waste for recycling into compost is moving forward with a study to figure out the best locations for processing facilities.
The Regional District Okanagan Similkameen approved the siting study after receiving a Green Municipal Fund Grant for up to half the total budget required to complete it. The grant, which comes from a $550 million Government of Canada endowment to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, totals $175,000. It's welcome news because the regional district expected to fully fund the study, according to Solid Waste Coordinator Cameron Baughen.
“We allocated $400,000 for the study, so if we can keep our scope to $350,000, this grant will cover half the cost,” he said, adding the regional district continues to apply for additional sources of funding.
The regional district board reviewed consultant Tetra Tech’s initial assessment of nine publicly owned properties at the Thursday, Jan. 22 regular board meeting.
“Out of those nine, eight still have potential. Our next phase are feasibility studies to look at cost and technology associated with each particular site, “ Baughen said, noting that a variety of different technologies are associated with composting and odour is one of the biggest issues to be considered with site selection.
“We have a way to do odour mapping. The idea is to find out where the odours will go - how will they impact nearby homes?” he said. Part of the strategy is to spend more money on composting sites to reduce the amount of odour emitted.
Baughen said potential sites close to a community will likely be more costly because of the odour issue.
“Hopefully the most cost-effective technology for the site can be implemented with minimal or no impact on local residents and that’s our whole goal for this project,” Baughen said.
Other aspects of the siting study will focus on options that will increase the lifespan of the landfill, produce compost and reduce transportation costs.
The regional district also plans to approach private sector interests to see if they have properties or technologies that might be appropriate for their properties. Baughen said RDOS staff have held several meetings with interested groups.
He said a report was also being prepared to calculate how much kitchen and yard waste is presently generated in the regional district, along with projected increases over the next 10-15 years. Regional district data indicates 30 to 50 per cent of landfill waste is organic.
Baughen said the siting study would be finished by the end of this year, following which recommendations would be made to the board.
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