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Garbage collected every 2 weeks as Summerland begins food waste program

Residential food wastes to be collected weekly, with garbage collected every two weeks
Compostable organics comprise more than one-third of Summerland’s garbage. The municipality is moving to a new waste collection system to divert compostable wastes from the landfill. (District of Summerland image)

Garbage day is changing for Summerland residents.

The municipality will begin implementing a food waste collection program this spring.

The new program, to begin in April for residential properties, will allow residents to place food waste and food-soiled paper in their yard waste carts. The mixed yard waste and residential food waste will be collected and composted at the Summerland Landfill.

The change means the green yard waste bins will be collected every week, with residential food waste included in the bins. The black garbage bins will be collected every two weeks.

Graham Statt, Summerland’s chief administrative officer, said the change will reduce the pressures on the community’s landfill. He said at present, up to 30 per cent of Summerland’s garbage is organics, which will now be diverted as it will be composted.

The municipality has been preparing for food waste collection. Last September, the municipality opened a new aerated static pile compost facility at the landfill. This facility was designed to compost wastewater treatment sludge and residential food waste.

The federal-provincial Organics Infrastructure Program — Low Carbon Economy Leadership Fund contributed $1.581 million to this project, with the province and the federal government each contributing half of the money.

In a report to Summerland council, Cameron Baughen, environmental services coordinator, said more than two-thirds of British Columbians already have access to residential food waste collection. In communities where this is in place, garbage is collected every two weeks and food waste is collected weekly.

“Every other week collection of garbage has also been associated with an increase in recycling, more yard waste diverted and a decrease in overall waste collected,” he said.

The Clean BC — Organics Infrastructure and Collection Program has provided two-thirds of grant funding, up to $451,639, for the curbside food waste collection program. The remaining one-third will come from the municipality’s capital works reserve.

The costs of this program are included in Summerland’s 2024 municipal budget.

Information on the details of how to work with the food waste program will be provided to Summerland residents in March before the program takes effect.

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John Arendt

About the Author: John Arendt

John Arendt has worked as a journalist for more than 30 years. He has a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Journalism degree from Ryerson Polytechnical Institute.
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