Curbside Organic Waste Collection

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The City is seeking public input into the design of a residential curbside organic waste collection program to 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 container. 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 container, which can be stored alongside your garbage and recycling bins. The size of the curbside container 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.


Timeline
With Council direction, City staff have entered a three-phased approach to creating a residential curbside organic waste collection program:

Phase 1 - Information Gathering (September 2020–June 2021)
During this phase, staff will undertake public consultation and perform audits of curbside garbage collection routes. The purpose of this phase is to gauge public support for organic waste collection and understand the organic composition of garbage collection routes.


Phase 2 - Pilot Program (September 2021–August 2022*)
During this phase, the City will collect organic waste in a select number of neighbourhoods with different topography and demographics. The purpose of this phase is to determine how residents participate in the program, the most suitable collection model, program costs, and the level of contamination and cross-contamination. Staff will engage with testing participants to understand the challenges and best practices to help inform the implementation of a full program rollout.


Phase 3 - Implementation (July 2023*)
During this phase, the City will implement curbside organic waste collection for all single-family households and multi-family households that are on curbside collection routes (individual carts, not shared carts or bins).


*The timing of phases 2 and 3 are dependent upon successful grant funding.

The City is seeking public input into the design of a residential curbside organic waste collection program to 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 container. 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 container, which can be stored alongside your garbage and recycling bins. The size of the curbside container 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.


Timeline
With Council direction, City staff have entered a three-phased approach to creating a residential curbside organic waste collection program:

Phase 1 - Information Gathering (September 2020–June 2021)
During this phase, staff will undertake public consultation and perform audits of curbside garbage collection routes. The purpose of this phase is to gauge public support for organic waste collection and understand the organic composition of garbage collection routes.


Phase 2 - Pilot Program (September 2021–August 2022*)
During this phase, the City will collect organic waste in a select number of neighbourhoods with different topography and demographics. The purpose of this phase is to determine how residents participate in the program, the most suitable collection model, program costs, and the level of contamination and cross-contamination. Staff will engage with testing participants to understand the challenges and best practices to help inform the implementation of a full program rollout.


Phase 3 - Implementation (July 2023*)
During this phase, the City will implement curbside organic waste collection for all single-family households and multi-family households that are on curbside collection routes (individual carts, not shared carts or bins).


*The timing of phases 2 and 3 are dependent upon successful grant funding.

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Q & A

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  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    Super excited for this. Penticton has been doing it for a few years. My parents waste has been cut SO much.

    bossymom asked 5 days ago

    Hi there,

    Thank you for your comments. It’s great to hear an organic waste collection program in Penticton has been a positive one for your parents. It’s great to hear support for this program!

    Did you know? Our garbage audits show that up to 38% of residential garbage is organic waste. A curbside organic collection program will help to divert this waste from the garbage/landfill, and as you mention, can result in having less household garbage overall. 

    Thank you for your interest in this project. Stay tuned to our Q&A and developing FAQs for further information, and if you haven't already, please subscribe to receive project updates on the page.

    Sincerely,
    The Curbside Organic Waste Collection Project Team

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    Are different size curbside bins being considered? We are vegan and compost our veggie and fruit waste. We only put out our regular garbage about once every 6 weeks in the smallest garbage bin. We obviously have very little food waste except the odd bit of oil collected in a paper towel. How will this work for us. We are all about reducing waste in the landfill and feel that the majority of the population and the environment would greatly benefit from this program.

    Judy asked 12 days ago

    Hello Judy,

    Thanks for your question and comments. It’s great to hear support for this program!

    That’s fantastic that you are an active composter and have such little garbage. Your actions to divert waste, including organic waste, support our overall goal of keeping waste out of the landfill.

    Regarding your specific question about container size - throughout the research and pilot program, we will be considering size options for collection containers. 

    In terms of how it would work for you, if you already compost at home, you can continue home composting while using the organic waste collection program for anything that doesn't belong, or is difficult to compost, in your backyard. 

    As vegans, for you this may include food-soiled paper towel or soiled pizza boxes, for example. You can read more about what will be accepted in collection in our FAQs. 

    Thank you for your interest in this project. If you haven't already, please subscribe to receive project updates on the page.

    Sincerely,
    The Curbside Organic Waste Collection Project Team

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    Would the Sun Rivers neighborhood be included?

    Cjh asked 10 days ago

    Hi there,

    Thanks for your question. Sun Rivers would not be included as it is not part of the municipality and therefore is not serviced by the City, rather it is serviced by Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc.

    We recommend you contact Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc to learn more about their potential plans for future organic waste collection.

    Sincerely,
    The Curbside Organic Waste Collection Project Team

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    When lining the inside container , could I use the brown bags that have a plastic liner in them. Not sure if the liner is suitable for composting?

    Joy asked 15 days ago

    Hi there Joy,

    Thanks for your question. We won’t know what types of compostable liners/plastic bags (if any) will be accepted in the program until we determine where the organic waste will be composted. We will know this once a processing (composting) facility has been selected.

    As you may know, there are different types of lined paper bags – some of these are lined with plastic that cannot be composted, and other paper bags are lined with certified compostable plastic that may be accepted at a processing facility.

    We recommend lining kitchen bins with newspaper, paper bags, or old cereal boxes.

    Once we know where the organic material will go, we will be able to confirm exactly what other types of liners (if any) will be accepted. 

    Thank you for your interest in this project. Check out our list of FAQs on the project page for other related information on the kitchen bin. If you haven't already, please subscribe to receive project updates on the page.

    Sincerely,
    The Curbside Organic Waste Collection Project Team

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    What type of composter will be used? Also will the composting process use both brown and green materials, as most household waste will likely be green material?

    Cosever asked 16 days ago

    Hi there,

    Thank you for your questions. The composting facility where the organic waste collected from households will go to will be determined through a competitive bid process. 

    We have identified several composting facilities in the TNRD and neighbouring regional districts that use open windrow systems. These processing (composting) facilities are licensed and regulated under the Organic Matter Recycling Regulation. They are responsible for managing the ratio of “brown” (carbon) and “green” (nitrogen) that they receive.

    As you mentioned, composting requires both carbon-rich “brown” material, and nitrogen-rich “green” material, and both will be accepted in our curbside program. The (developing) list of accepted materials includes kitchen food scraps and food-soiled paper products and we speak to these items in our FAQs here

    Thanks again for your questions and interest. If you haven't already, please subscribe to receive project updates on the page.

    Sincerely,
    The Curbside Organic Waste Collection Project Team

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    You stated that there will be a savings to the city of 1M dollars per year, why then a user fee? Is the projected operational cost more than a million dollars per year? Also, are your projected savings are based on 100% compliance? Might be optimistic. Your pay back (operational and capital) might be as long as ten years.

    Gates asked 16 days ago

    Hello there,

    Thank you for your comments and questions, and the opportunity to expand on the aspect of program cost. 

    The cost savings of $1M is not a reflection of annual landfill operating expense, but rather the value of landfill airspace saved each year by not burying organic waste. This airspace then becomes available for consumption by materials that currently cannot be recycled/repurposed and allows the City to defer large-scale capital costs related to landfill expansion. 

    The operational costs of the residential curbside organic waste collection program would be covered by user fees, as part of overall utility services. As we are still in the planning stages of the program, we do not yet have an exact operating cost for the program. 

    Staff presented cost estimates to Council on December 15, 2020. The report can be found in the Document Library section of this page. The estimated annual operating cost was $1,754,000, and will be refined as we progress through the feasibility and pilot phases of the program.

    The City is considering environmental, social and economic benefits in the decision to move forward with organic waste collection, and not purely from the perspective of landfill airspace savings. 

    As we develop our program we will be able to assign value to other benefits such as increasing the amount of fertile soil, extending the life of our landfill, reducing GHG emissions and creating jobs.

    To follow this project, if you haven't already, please subscribe to receive project updates on our page. 

    Sincerely,
    The Curbside Organic Waste Collection Project Team

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    Will there be an option to opt in or out depending if you want to participate or not?

    Composter asked 16 days ago

    Hi there, 

    Thank you for your question. In regard to participation and opting out, we will consider possible exemptions for residents already engaged in composting their organic waste, and what impacts possible exemptions may have on the implementation of a community-wide collection program.

    We will know more about potential costs during Phase 1 and 2 of our planning and design of the program, with the intention of minimizing any user fees that are required. (City staff have also identified grant opportunities through the Green Municipal Fund and CleanBC to support the overall funding for this project).

    Thank you for your interest in the project - if you haven't already, please subscribe to receive project updates on the page. 

    Sincerely,
    The Curbside Organic Waste Collection Project Team

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    I currently have a green cone composter that I purchased at a home show from the city. It composts dog waste. Will these new composters allow this as well.

    Nadine asked 16 days ago

    Hello Nadine,

    Thank you for this question. We suggest that you continue to compost dog waste in your green cone. Although dog waste is organic, from what we have learned through our research, the main challenge with accepting dog waste in collection programs is the contamination from plastic bags. Dog waste can be composted, but people often put this in bags, and although there are compostable dog waste bags, not all of these are certified compostable and become a source of contamination in organic waste programs. 

    Regarding other items that would be able to go in an organics bin that do not belong in home composting bins/cones (such as oils and bones), please visit our FAQ section for a developing list of what will be accepted. 

    View the Let’s Talk Organics page here. Thank you for your interest in the project - if you haven't already, please subscribe to receive project updates on the page. 

    Sincerely,
    The Curbside Organic Waste Collection Project Team

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    what will the city do with the organic waste

    cfritch asked 17 days ago

    Hello there,

    Thank you for your question. We partially address this in our FAQs in the Collection section.

    The organic material will be processed and converted into an end product with beneficial use. As there are currently no facilities in Kamloops that can process (compost) food waste at a large scale, we have identified composting facilities within the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, and other facilities in the province, as potential viable options until a local option emerges. 

    Details about whether compost would be available to residents and if it would be free will be determined once the processing contractor/facility is confirmed. 

    Please visit our FAQs for more information on additional aspects of the program.

    Sincerely,
    The Curbside Organic Waste Collection Project Team

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    I think its a great idea as long as the organic waste is has a purpose and hope it will not go to the dump the same way our recycling does....

    Lin asked 17 days ago

    Hello there,

    Thank you for your comments. We partially answer this in our FAQs in the Collection section.

    The organic material will be processed and converted into an end product with beneficial use. As there are currently no facilities in Kamloops that can process (compost) food waste at a large scale, we have identified composting facilities within the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, and other facilities in the province, as potential viable options until a local option emerges. 

    To speak to your specific comment/concern that the residential recycling collected by the City is going to the landfill, unfortunately this is a common misconception. As per the City's agreement with Recycle BC, and as part of their obligations to the provincial government, all of the accepted recycling collected through the City's program is sold to recycling markets. 

    Recycle BC oversees the sale of the program material and is obligated to ensure that the accepted recyclable material is in fact recycled and does not end up in the landfill. You can find out what happens to the recyclables here. 

    Sincerely,
    The Curbside Organic Waste Collection Project Team