Curbside Organic Waste Collection

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Current status
The project is now in Phase 2 - Pilot Program - from September 2021 to August 2022. View a map of the pilot routes below. Downloadable maps for each pilot route are also available in the Document Library on this page.

Background
In December 2020, Council authorized staff to move ahead with a three-phased approach to developing a residential organics collection program. An organic waste collection program will help residents divert more waste from the landfill, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and return organic material to the soil ecosystem. Did you know? Organic waste makes up approximately 38% of all residential waste that ends up at our landfill? This material utilizes valuable landfill space and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions (primarily methane) in our community.


Organic Waste
What is organic waste? Organic waste can broadly be thought of as anything that used to be alive. It refers primarily to food waste and food-soiled paper and can also include household plants/flowers and some yard waste. Kitchen food scraps include cooked food (leftovers) or unused or spoiled grains, dairy, produce, and meat. Bones, egg/seafood shells, and small amounts of fat, grease, and oils are also organic waste. Food-soiled paper products are often compostable and are suitable for organic waste collection. These include paper napkins, paper towel, food-soiled newsprint, pizza boxes, coffee grinds/filters and tea bags, as well as wooden chopsticks, popsicle sticks, and skewers. Read our FAQs for a developing list of what can and can not be included in a 'green' bin.

Collection
With the program, residential residents will each receive two bins—a small kitchen bin (approximately 1 cu. ft. in size) and a curbside cart. The kitchen bin would typically be stored on a counter next to a sink, or underneath the sink. It may be lined with newsprint for ease of emptying and cleanliness, and has a lid that snaps shut to help eliminate any odour and fruit flies. When the kitchen bin is full, the food waste is transferred to the curbside cart, which can be stored alongside your garbage and recycling carts. The size of the curbside cart and the frequency of collection are yet to be determined. We will learn more as we conduct research, hear from residents and conduct a pilot program.

Why Now?

A curbside organic waste collection program is estimated to reduce the community’s carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 2,800 tonnes per year (equivalent to removing about 600 passenger vehicles) and save the City $1 million annually in costs related to landfill capacity. Outcomes of organic waste collection in Kamloops also align with waste reduction goals outlined in the City’s Official Community Plan–KAMPLAN–and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District’s Solid Waste Management Plan, which aim to reduce waste to the landfill to 560 kg/person annually by 2023 (in 2019, the disposal rate was 750 kg/person annually). Recent (fall 2020) public engagement for the Community Climate Action Plan showed organic waste collection as one of the top three policy changes supported by residents.


Funding opportunities for Canadian municipalities to implement curbside organic waste collection programs have also expanded in recent years, and City staff have identified grant opportunities through the Green Municipal Fund and CleanBC to support the funding for this project.

Current status
The project is now in Phase 2 - Pilot Program - from September 2021 to August 2022. View a map of the pilot routes below. Downloadable maps for each pilot route are also available in the Document Library on this page.

Background
In December 2020, Council authorized staff to move ahead with a three-phased approach to developing a residential organics collection program. An organic waste collection program will help residents divert more waste from the landfill, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and return organic material to the soil ecosystem. Did you know? Organic waste makes up approximately 38% of all residential waste that ends up at our landfill? This material utilizes valuable landfill space and contributes to greenhouse gas emissions (primarily methane) in our community.


Organic Waste
What is organic waste? Organic waste can broadly be thought of as anything that used to be alive. It refers primarily to food waste and food-soiled paper and can also include household plants/flowers and some yard waste. Kitchen food scraps include cooked food (leftovers) or unused or spoiled grains, dairy, produce, and meat. Bones, egg/seafood shells, and small amounts of fat, grease, and oils are also organic waste. Food-soiled paper products are often compostable and are suitable for organic waste collection. These include paper napkins, paper towel, food-soiled newsprint, pizza boxes, coffee grinds/filters and tea bags, as well as wooden chopsticks, popsicle sticks, and skewers. Read our FAQs for a developing list of what can and can not be included in a 'green' bin.

Collection
With the program, residential residents will each receive two bins—a small kitchen bin (approximately 1 cu. ft. in size) and a curbside cart. The kitchen bin would typically be stored on a counter next to a sink, or underneath the sink. It may be lined with newsprint for ease of emptying and cleanliness, and has a lid that snaps shut to help eliminate any odour and fruit flies. When the kitchen bin is full, the food waste is transferred to the curbside cart, which can be stored alongside your garbage and recycling carts. The size of the curbside cart and the frequency of collection are yet to be determined. We will learn more as we conduct research, hear from residents and conduct a pilot program.

Why Now?

A curbside organic waste collection program is estimated to reduce the community’s carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 2,800 tonnes per year (equivalent to removing about 600 passenger vehicles) and save the City $1 million annually in costs related to landfill capacity. Outcomes of organic waste collection in Kamloops also align with waste reduction goals outlined in the City’s Official Community Plan–KAMPLAN–and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District’s Solid Waste Management Plan, which aim to reduce waste to the landfill to 560 kg/person annually by 2023 (in 2019, the disposal rate was 750 kg/person annually). Recent (fall 2020) public engagement for the Community Climate Action Plan showed organic waste collection as one of the top three policy changes supported by residents.


Funding opportunities for Canadian municipalities to implement curbside organic waste collection programs have also expanded in recent years, and City staff have identified grant opportunities through the Green Municipal Fund and CleanBC to support the funding for this project.

  • 32,500 Kilograms of Waste Diverted in First Three Weeks of Pilot Program

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    October 12, 2021 - The Curbside Organic Waste Collection Pilot Program officially began on September 20 and in the first three weeks, 32,500 kg of organic waste was collected and diverted from the landfill.

    “We are happy to see that so many residents started using the carts right away, and we hope to see more organics carts at the curb now that most residents on pilot routes are aware that the pilot has begun,” said Glen Farrow, the City’s Streets and Environmental Services Manager.

    “As a pilot program, we are testing organic waste collection to learn what works well, what could be improved for a community-wide program, and the barriers to participation. The more people we have participating, the more data and feedback we can collect,” said Farrow.

    All pilot residents, whether they are using the organics carts or not, are invited to take the first pilot program survey, open until October 29. Respondents can enter to win one of three $100 gift cards to Downtown Kamloops businesses.

    Pilot residents are also encouraged to subscribe to monthly e-newsletter updates. Survey links will be shared through e-newsletters (or by mail), to subscribed participants only.

    With the launch of the pilot and the changes to a familiar waste collection system, there have been several learning opportunities.

    Biweekly Garbage and Recycling Collection
    “The biggest change for the pilot residents is the shift to biweekly garbage and recycling collection. Organics carts are collected weekly, while garbage and recycling carts are now collected on an alternating biweekly basis,” said Farrow.

    “Our research into other municipalities with organics programs showed other communities have successfully adapted to biweekly garbage collection. Approximately 42% of household trash can be composted as organic waste, so placing that waste into the organics cart means less garbage overall, and in turn that supports a shift to biweekly garbage collection.”

    “Recycling collection varies in other communities. We are testing biweekly recycling collection because if it works, then we can minimize costs. We want to see if residents can adjust to biweekly recycling, but we know it will be a challenge for some households, especially with an increase in online shopping in recent years.”

    Kitchen Bin Liners
    Another challenge revolves around best practices in lining the kitchen organic waste bin. Bins should be lined with paper-based products like paper bags, cereal boxes, or folded newspaper to help keep them clean. Unfortunately, some commercial compost bin liners labelled as compostable or biodegradable do not break down in the composting facility.

    “The composting facility we are currently using does not accept compostable or biodegradable plastic bag bin liners. These items take much longer to break down and leave behind small pieces of plastics, contaminating the finished compost product,” explained Farrow.

    Wildlife Interactions
    During the public engagement phase, the potential for wildlife interactions was expressed as a concern by many. Wildlife, including bears, are attracted to the smell of organic waste whether it is in a garbage cart, organics cart, backyard compost, a fruit tree, a BBQ, in bird feeders, or pet food left outdoors.

    So far, the City has not received any reports from either pilot residents or conservation officers of bears related to organics carts on pilot routes. Residents are reminded to properly manage organic material on their property to reduce wildlife attractants.

    Some tips to reduce attractants in waste include wrapping meat scraps and bones in newspaper or paper towel, consider freezing meat and fish scraps until collection day, and layering organics carts with dry material such as yard waste or newspaper.

    Residents unsure if they are on a pilot route or not, can view the pilot routes map.

  • Curbside Organic Waste Collection Pilot Program Set to Launch This Fall

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    July 12, 2021 - The City of Kamloops is pleased to announce that the Curbside Organic Waste Collection Program will be shifting into Phase 2, the pilot program, in September 2021.

    The pilot program involves testing organic waste collection in select neighbourhoods to learn what works well and what would need to be improved for a community-wide program. The pilot program will last for one year until August 2022, allowing the City sufficient time to gather feedback and data across all four seasons.

    The pilot program is focused on single-family residential properties already on curbside collection; multi-family complexes and commercial properties will be addressed in the future.

    Five pilot routes, one route in each of the five collection zones, have been selected. There is no additional cost to any resident involved in the pilot program.

    “We selected the pilot routes based on areas where we expect high participation and volumes, areas where we expect low participation and volumes, areas where we know there are wildlife issues, and areas with laneway collection,” said Marcia Dick, the City’s Solid Waste Services Analyst.

    “For example, one of the top concerns we heard during our public consultation phase was around organics being a potential wildlife attractant, so we selected a route where there is wildlife activity. Similarly, we want to get a sense of how much organic waste we will be collecting from residents, so we selected high- and low-volume areas to help us estimate average volumes. We also want to understand the barriers to participation and what, if anything, we can do to help residents overcome those barriers,” explained Dick.

    The pilot routes are as follows:

    • Zone 1: Westsyde (West of Westsyde Road from Sicamore Drive to Riverview Road)
    • Zone 2: Brock/North Kamloops (between 8th Street to Valhalla Drive, and Tranquille Road to Pembroke Avenue)
    • Zone 3: North Kamloops/McDonald Park (between Cottonwood Avenue, Tranquille Road, and sections of Royal Avenue)
    • Zone 4: Upper Sahali (south/east of Summit Drive from Pineridge Estates to Highway 5A)
    • Zone 5: Juniper West (Qu’Appelle Boulevard and Galore Crescent area) and sections of Valleyview west of Highland Road (sections of Valleyview Drive and Glenwood Drive; Orchard Drive)

    Click here to view a detailed map of pilot routes and to confirm if your address is on a pilot route. Households on pilot routes are encouraged to subscribe to receive information updates to ensure they don’t miss important information, such as changes to their waste collection schedules, or opportunities to learn more about organics collection.

    The City will be sending a letter to all residents and property owners on the pilot routes with information about the pilot program and instructions on how to subscribe to receive information updates and provide feedback throughout the pilot.

    “Two-way communication and resident feedback are very important to the success of the pilot program,” explained Dick. “All households on all pilot routes will receive an organics cart, a kitchen bin, and an information package, regardless of whether or not they subscribe, but we’re hopeful the pilot households will want to participate and provide their feedback.”

    Organics carts and kitchen bins are expected to be delivered to pilot addresses between late August and mid September (on weekdays), and organics collection is expected to begin the week of September 20. Residents should not use their organics carts or bins until collection has started.

    Operations for the pilot program include using the City’s current fleet of trucks. The material will be taken to a locally established transfer station prior to being transported by Arrow Transport to its composting facility in Princeton, BC.

  • City Launches Survey and Information Sessions for Curbside Organic Waste Collection Program

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    April 6, 2021 - The City of Kamloops is launching an online survey and announcing two virtual information sessions as public engagement efforts for the Curbside Organic Waste Collection Project continue.

    The Curbside Organic Waste Collection page on the City’s Let’s Talk engagement website was launched in February with a quick poll and a Q&A feature. The poll was intended to take a snapshot of support for the program. Of the 1,555 people who responded, 84% of respondents support an organic waste collection program.

    Over 100 questions were received in the website’s Q&A section, and the most common questions formed the themes for the survey and the virtual information session presentation slides.

    Online Survey
    The survey seeks to understand attitudes and habits around garbage, food waste, recycling, composting, and yard waste; to identify residents’ priorities and concerns; and to measure overall support for the project.

    “What we learn from this survey—including what people currently do with their organic waste and what their primary concerns are about an organics program—will help inform how we approach the project’s design and what collection model will work best for our community,” said Glen Farrow, the City’s Streets and Environmental Services Manager.

    Data collected from the survey will also help City staff in selecting routes for the pilot program. A one-year pilot program is scheduled to launch in the fall and will test organic waste collection in up to five areas, which will represent a wide range of attitudes and habits.

    While the survey is open to the whole community, Farrow notes that right now, the program development is focused on single- and multi-family homes that receive the City’s curbside collection service. “Apartments and multi-family complexes with shared collection will be addressed in future stages of the program,” he said.

    The survey will be open until May 18. Paper copies of the survey can be requested by calling 250-828-3461. Survey respondents can enter to win one of three $100 gift certificates to local garden/landscaping stores.

    Take the survey here.

    Virtual Information Sessions
    In addition to the survey, two virtual information sessions have been scheduled for Wednesday, April 14, 12:00–1:00 pm, and Thursday, April 29, 6:00–7:00 pm.

    The hour-long sessions will feature a presentation from Marcia Dick, the City’s Solid Waste Services Analyst and the project lead, and the rest of the project team. The sessions will outline the project’s background, discuss concerns heard to date, and answer questions.

    Registration is not required. The sessions will be hosted via Zoom, and links will be available the day before here on the Let’s Talk Organics web page. A recording of the information sessions will also be posted on the web page following the events.

  • City Seeking Input on Residential Organic Waste Collection Program

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    February 5, 2021 - The City of Kamloops is seeking public input into the design of a residential curbside organic waste collection program.

    In December 2020, Council authorized staff to move ahead with a three-phased approach to developing a residential organics collection program.

    Phase 1—Public Consultation—is now underway with the launch of a Curbside Organic Waste Collection page on the City’s Let’s Talk engagement website. The page features educational information about what organic waste is, what could be included in a green bin, and why it makes sense for the City to introduce such a program.

    Residents are encouraged to participate in a quick poll, read the FAQs, and ask questions about the program. A survey will be launched in spring to understand the priorities and concerns of residents and measure overall support of the project.

    Feedback from the public will then help the City design an effective and efficient program, including determining how often garbage, recycling, and organic waste would be collected and bin sizes.

    Residential curbside organic waste collection is estimated to reduce the community’s carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 2,800 tonnes per year (equivalent to removing about 600 passenger vehicles) and save the City $1 million annually in costs related to landfill capacity.

    It is also consistent with waste reduction goals outlined in the City’s Official Community Plan—KAMPLAN—and the Thompson-Nicola Regional District’s Solid Waste Management Plan, which aim to reduce waste to the landfill to 560 kg/person annually by 2023 (in 2019, the disposal rate was 750 kg/person annually). Data from garbage audits suggests an organics collection program would significantly support meeting the City’s waste reduction targets.

    “Audits of residential garbage show that around 38% of our trash is organic material that can be composted,” said Marcia Dick, the City’s Solid Waste Services Analyst.

    “A residential curbside organics collection program would allow residents to divert food and other organic waste from the garbage bin to an organics bin,” she added.

    After the public consultation period, phase 2 is planned for fall 2021 and includes a pilot program in select neighbourhoods. The final phase would implement organics collection for all single-family and multi-family households on curbside collection routes. The timing of phases 2 and 3 are dependent on successful grant funding.

    The City has applied for grant funding from CleanBC and the Green Municipal Fund which will potentially cover half of the projected $6.5 million cost of all three phases. Individual cost per household will be determined based on the outcomes of the first two project phases as well as any grant funding.

    The City has also received community and stakeholder support on the proposed program from groups that have been advocating for organics collection in the city, including the Kamloops Food Policy Council, the Tk'emlúps te Secwépemc, and Thompson Rivers University.

Page last updated: 12 October 2021, 16:18