More compost giveaways as Penticton explores new ways to deal with sewage biosolids | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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More compost giveaways as Penticton explores new ways to deal with sewage biosolids

The city's composting facility at the Campbell Mountain Landfill is reaching the end of its life cycle at the same time demand has dropped off for the product. A study on what else might be done to handle the sewage waste is nearly complete.
March 08, 2019 - 6:30 AM

PENTICTON - It’s one thing Penticton never stops producing, and it’s starting to pile up at the Campbell Mountain Landfill.

Public Works manager Len Robson says things just aren’t what they used to be for the city’s compost market. There was a time several years ago when the city could sell all it could make, which was good, because production of the city’s sewage residual, or leftover poop, doesn’t take a holiday.

“Over time, it just lost its popularity, or isn’t needed anymore, I’m not sure exactly why, but it’s not in as great demand anymore,” he says, adding the stockpile at the landfill is at near capacity and he’d like to see more of it gone.

The city is giving compost away free to commercial carriers this week, similar to several past efforts that has seen the city offer the product for free.

More recent giveaways earlier this year haven’t been helped by the unusually late winter.

The city will soon be receiving the results of a contractor’s study on the issue, after staff decided to find out what modern day options exist for treating and disposal of sewage residual.

“The compost site is coming to the end of its life cycle, it’s worn out and it also needs to be upgraded to meet current regulations,” Robson says.

Rather than rebuild it to continue producing a product that isn’t in demand, Robson says the city contracted Aecom Engineering to figure out what is possible to address sewage biosolids disposal and what technologies are available today to deal with the product. He says Aecom was tasked to explore “all opportunities” to do with biosolids.

The study looked at 28 technologies in use today to deal with biosolids, which has since been reduced to three potential ways the city might address its biosolids issues.

Robson says the city has had lots of irons in the fire, holding public engagements and consulting with private enterprise and the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen to come up with potential opportunities.

He says the city is getting close to being able to define the options available to it. Once conclusively defined, those options will be brought to council in the next month or two with a report on the findings and ideas on how to proceed moving forward.

The city is providing compost free to bulk haulers collecting five tonnes or more from March 4 to March 29 at the Campbell Mountain Landfill. Residents can get small loads for free on Saturdays in March if they load it themselves.

The city website says to watch for further giveaways later this spring.

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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