Jul 28, 2023
Despite some pushback, over 100 tonnes of organics collected during first week of curbside program in Kamloops
A pile of organic waste at the Bunker Road transfer site in Kamloops. (Photo via City of Kamloops) The City of Kamloops says it collected over 100 tonnes of organics – 108,809 kg – during the first
A pile of organic waste at the Bunker Road transfer site in Kamloops. (Photo via City of Kamloops)
The City of Kamloops says it collected over 100 tonnes of organics – 108,809 kg – during the first week of its curbside green bin program.
Speaking during Tuesday’s City Council Meeting, Civic Operations Director, Jen Fretz, said that was despite a slow start to the program last week.
“I think people were still in holiday mode which is totally understandable but Zone 4 that we started with last Monday was a little bit slow to start, but definitely picked things up this week,” Fretz said. “So I think everybody is getting the message.”
“Lots of people are putting yard waste in their carts which is perfectly acceptable. We’re seeing lots of pine needles and pine cones which is a great way to show that people are FireSmarting their homes.”
Fretz says while the have been a few hiccups – and pushback from some residents – it was not unexpected.
“We have received calls from about 150 residents who do not want their carts. We’ve actually subsequently had six people phone back and say, ‘I’ve changed my mind, I would like my cart,'” Fretz said. “To give you some context, in [March] 2008 when we rolled out recycling, we had about 200 people phone to say they did not want their recycling cart. All but 12 of those people have since phoned back and have recycling carts.”
“It just sort of shows you that this is normal at the start of a different program.”
Fretz said people want the City to away their green bins, they will do so no questions asked.
“But we also know that for the most part, people are then realizing that its actually a really good thing and they’re wanting their carts back,” she added.
The City expects the curbside organics program will divert over 5,800 tonnes of organic waste from landfills each year, while also reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 9,500 tonnes each year.
Asked why people can’t use compostable or biodegradable plastic bags as liners, she said its because those materials will only break down under specific conditions, leading to possible contamination. She suggests using soiled paper and cardboard as liners in the bin instead, reducing the amount of recycling that people put out in their blue bins.
“We found a lot of success in the pilot for people who were literally breaking down cardboard boxes for example and lining their carts with that cardboard,” Fretz said. “It acts as a bulking agent in the compost so its very beneficial as long as you’re taking the tape off the cardboard.”
“It helps to remove some of that kind of stuff that sticks to the bottom and the sides of the cart so it also keeps your cart a lot cleaner. We found people saying it has reduced the amount of fruit flies and odour and that kind of things.”
All of the organic material collected is taken to a transfer site on Bunker Road, before being transported to a composting facility in Princeton, as was the case during the pilot in Juniper Ridge.
“Unfortunately, at this time there is not a local compost processing facility that is permitted to compost food scraps,” the City said, in a Tweet. “In calculating the estimated greenhouse gas emissions related to transporting the organics to Princeton, as well as the net reduction in emissions by composting organics and keeping that material out of the landfill, there is still a significant net reduction in emissions despite the additional transportation emissions.”
“In the future, the hope is to someday have the organic material transferred to a facility in the Kamloops vicinity.”
A downloadable resource sheet on what can go into the green bin can be found here.
For more pilot program highlights and further background on the entire project, go here.