A proposal for curbside pick-up of garbage, organics and recycling got a rough ride at the SCRD board. You may have seen a photo of me and my garbage can in the Coast Reporter. (Mine is the SMALL can. Big thanks to Lorella Hay for participating in garbage theatre!) The upshot is that directors voted to renew the garbage pick-up contract, but we’re back to the drawing board for the rest.
We have asked staff to investigate a program similar to the one that Gibsons started last year, which has succeeding in reducing the volume of waste going to the landfill by 45%. This program also has an “opt-out” feature for residents who are able to compost all of their organics at home (including meat, bones, and grease).
Diverting organics is crucial because when they decompose in a landfill (anaerobically) they create methane gas which is 30 times more potent than C02 as a greenhouse gas. Gibsons’ organics go to Salish Soils, a local business that makes and sells compost and soils.
We haven’t yet figured out what to do to increase diversion of recyclable materials. Curbside pick-up in Areas E and F would be very expensive because we are not eligible for subsidies from Recycling BC. Area F Director Mark Hiltz and I will be touring Gibsons Recycling with town councillors, and brainstorming on strategies for E, F and Gibsons.
Suggestions are welcome, especially examples of programs that have been successful in other rural communities.