Council Authorizes City-Wide Curbside Residential Organic Waste Collection Program for 2023

August 17, 2022 - Council has authorized a city-wide curbside residential organic waste collection program. This city-wide program, which expands on a year-long pilot program that is nearing completion, will see organic waste collection added to all 27,000 residential homes in Kamloops that currently receive curbside garbage and recycling collection. The community rollout is scheduled to start in mid to late 2023.

Glen Farrow, the City’s Streets and Environmental Services Manager, said the pilot program has provided an opportunity to test the program with a smaller group of residents across a handful of collection routes, before expanding the scope city wide.

“The community rollout represents phase 3 of the multi-phased approach that Council authorized in December 2020. First, we conducted extensive public engagement in phase 1 and then, in phase 2, we launched the pilot program in five select neighbourhoods,” explained Farrow.

“While we are still in the last part of the pilot, through our data collection and engagement with pilot residents to date, we are confident in understanding what we need to tweak for a successful community rollout,” he added, noting the reality of current supply chain challenges and inflation are also a factor in seeking Council’s authorization prior to the pilot program’s completion.

“We are seeing majority support for this program from the broader public and from the pilot program participants, so moving forward with Council approval right now will save us time and money from a supply chain and future costs perspective. For example, now that the city-wide program has been authorized, we can order the organics curbside bins, which will take about six months to arrive,” said Farrow.

The program will cost residents receiving curbside residential solid waste collection one dollar more per month on their utility bills. The initial capital start-up costs will be covered by current reserves and grant funding. The City has received a $1.78 million grant from the Province’s Clean BC Organic Infrastructure and Collection Program.

Research during the pilot program shows that, on average, 3.3 kg of organic waste is collected each week from each pilot household and that the organic waste consists of approximately 75% food scraps (and soiled paper waste) and 25% yard waste.

The city-wide residential organic waste collection program will see approximately 4,600 tonnes of organic waste diverted from the City’s landfills annually and is estimated to reduce community greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 9,500 tonnes per year (equivalent to removing 2,000 passenger vehicles from local roads for one year).

Next Steps

In September 2022, pilot program households will have the opportunity to share feedback in a third and final survey as the one-year pilot program wraps up. Feedback from the pilot program residents will continue to inform adjustments in planning for the launch of a community-wide program.

Once the pilot program has formally ended, curbside residential solid waste collection for households on the pilot program routes will remain the same as during the pilot program with alternating biweekly garbage and recycling collection and weekly organics collection.

City-wide implementation is anticipated to start in mid to late 2023. City staff will undertake a comprehensive communications and information campaign before the rollout to help prepare and educate residents who will be part of the city-wide curbside residential organic waste collection program.

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