Funding is coming for improvements to the composting program at the Summerland landfill.
The project is expected to cost $2,371,500, with two-thirds of the cost, $1,581,000, coming from provincial and federal governments through the Organics Infrastructure Program. The District of Summerland will cover the remaining third of the costs.
“A local organics processing facility at our landfill is good news for Summerland,” said Mayor Toni Boot. “The production of a soil amendment that does not contain biosolids will certainly be a benefit to the area’s agricultural producers, but the diversion of agricultural and residential food waste from the landfill makes financial sense for the entire community.
“Doing so will extend the life of the Summerland Landfill, giving us more time to build the Reserve account for what will, inevitably, be a significant replacement cost.”
Along with extending the life of the landfill, the funding will help reduce the community’s greenhouse gas emissions and expand capacity for municipal and agricultural organic wastes, as well as increasing diversion of residential organic wastes — currently being buried — for use in producing additional high-quality compost products.
Another goal is working toward the province’s municipal solid waste reduction target of 350 kilograms per person each year.
The District of Summerland submitted an expression of interest on November 30, 2018, followed by a full grant application on May 22, 2019, for a local organics processing facility which would increase the types of organic materials that could be processed for composting at the landfill. The Summerland landfill services Summerland along with Faulder, West Bench and Meadow Valley).
The current compost operation is going to move to a new site within the landfill boundary. According to the district, technology and infrastructure will be upgraded to improve operations, provide more robust environmental protection and reduce the occurrence of odours.
When everything is in place and operating, the community will have access to high-quality compost created from their own agricultural and residential food scraps. The new compost product will be in addition to the current high-quality Class ‘A’ biosolids compost produced and sold at the landfill.
District staff will now begin working through the initial stages of the project, with design and construction expected to be completed by the end of 2021 and full operations to be implemented in January 2022.
Community involvement is part of the process. The district will provide public engagement opportunities as it progresses, and has created a dedicated webpage atsummerland.ca/organics for easy access to information and responses to questions the community may have regarding the Summerland Organics Processing Facility Project.