Kimberley City Council has voted to support an initiative from the Regional District of East Kootenay to apply for funding for an Organic Infrastructure Program.
The RDEK is pursuing funding from the Province’s Organic Infrastructure Program which, if successful, will allow the City to divert the 29 per cent of compostable material that is currently entering the waste stream.
The RDEK is also hoping to bring the program to Sparwood and Invermere as part of the project.
City CAO Scott Sommerville will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the RDEK to confirm their partnership in the program.
Sommerville explained in a report to Council that removing compostable materials from the waste stream would reduce the community’s greenhouse gas emissions, and having a central composting facility will reduce bear attractants.
He adds that City staff see a value in establishing a processing facility to assist with biosolids processing and to produce quality topsoil for the community.
“City staff are proposing that the composting facility be located at the Pollution Control Centre, where biosolids are currently being composted. It is not expected that the composting facility will produce unpleasant odours that will affect the enjoyment of neighbouring properties,” wrote Sommerville.
Mayor Don McCormick says that there are a lot of details yet to be worked out, and the MOU will now be discussed at the RDEK table.
“We will press forward with grant applications and City staff has been tasked to look into funding and costs associated with the program,” said McCormick, adding that no decisions have been made about curb-side organics pick up as of yet.
“Curb-side is relatively expensive so we’re looking into the business of that. The good thing is our new method for collection, with the automated garbage truck, puts curb-side recycling and organics into play. It’s a question of wether or not it’s affordable.”
Sommerville said in his report that the City would be responsible for maintenance costs and other costs associated with curb-side pick-up. Financial support for operational costs would be provided by the RDEK along with support for training, communications and capacity building.