City Seeking Input on Residential Organic Waste Collection Program

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.

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