Compost giveaways prove successful as city makes room to make more | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Compost giveaways prove successful as city makes room to make more

The City of Penticton was able to reduce its compost stockpile by more than 2,500 tonnes following two weekend giveaways this spring.
May 16, 2018 - 7:30 PM

PENTICTON - The City of Penticton has made some room at its composting facility at the Campbell Mountain Landfill with two weekends of free giveaways.

The city has seen a reduced demand over the past few years as the result of a changing market for compost.

Dave Kassian with the city says they had a large stockpile of compost and needed to make room, hence the weekend giveaways, which saw 2,500 tonnes of the product leave the landfill.

“What happened to demand for compost is a good question,” Kassian says, noting the Kelowna market has suffered a similar downturn.

He says at one time, growers who were planting orchards were taking it faster than the city could produce it, but that has changed.

The product is delivered daily to the composting facility at the landfill, as sewage solids from the city’s sewage treatment plant. It is mixed with wood fibre and composted.

The city has been selling compost since 1998, and even lowered the price by almost half a few years ago.

It sells for $20 tonne, or $12.50 a tonne for loads of five tonnes or more. A pickup load, depending on how full, is worth between $15 and $20.

Kassian says he’s hopeful the giveaways will provide some advertising for the product that will see residents returning for further purchases.

“It’s a good product and traditionally word of mouth has worked. Once someone tries it they tell others. We are hoping that will happen through the weekend free pickups,” he said.

Penticton is currently engaged in a process to find out what other options are available for treatment of the city’s solid sewage waste with an engineering firm employed to explore what is available.

The study is expected to wrap up by the end of September in time for recommendations to be included in the city's 2019-2020 budget.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad or call 250-488-3065 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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