The great cost of dealing with Kimberley garbage

City updates bylaw, no more recyclables allowed in trash, garbage cans required

Trash cans are in and recyclables in garbage are out with updated bylaw.

Trash cans are in and recyclables in garbage are out with updated bylaw.

The City of Kimberley pays $550,000 each year to the Regional District of East Kootenay to handle the municipality’s garbage at the transfer station.

That’s a lot of money in a tight budget.

“Every pound we take out reduces cost,” says Don McCormick, which is why Kimberley City Council is keen on a couple of measures which may see a reduction in the amount  of trash headed to the transfer station.

First is the newly updated garbage bylaw, which is going to ask for a change in behaviour from residents.

There are three major changes in the bylaw, McCormick says. The City is now asking residents not to put yard waste and clippings in the trash set out for collection. Residents are also asked to take all recyclables out of the trash.

It’s amazing what people are throwing away, McCormick says.

“We’re asking people to remove recyclables —glass, aluminum cans, cardboard. We encourage people to get on board with recycling. Seeing as we don’t have blue box curb side pickup, this will be a process of education.”

Kimberley is not going to go so far as some communities, which ask all garbage be placed in clear plastic bags so staff can assess whether it contains recyclables or not. But some are quite obvious even in a dark bag.

But if you try to sneak in say, a cardboard pizza box, City staff will know.

“People can recycle all this stuff at the transfer station,” McCormick said. “But we’d also like you to think of your neighbours. If you have an elderly neighbour, ask them if they have anything for recycling and help them out.

“It would be nice to get a comprehensive collection system but for now this is what we can do. It’s an incremental improvement from where we’ve been.”

The final change will be that we are all going back to garbage cans. The preferred size is 77 litres.  This is mainly to prevent wildlife from getting into garbage as it is waiting for pickup.

Composting pilot

The City of Kimberley is also supporting a composting pilot program being set up by the Cranbrook Food Action Committee.

The Committee is proposing the development of a large scale community compost pilot project. The concept being that organic waste would be collected from large volume producers and composted on a large scale. Residents would also have the ability to participate in the program by dropping off compost materials at a central location. The project would build upon previous composting education and bring local communities’ composting to the next level by involving big food waste producers such as institutions, grocers and restaurants.

All this would have the effect of reducing organic matter going to the transfer station.