New organics deal could lead to expanded green bin program on mid-island

By Ian Holmes
May 4, 2018 - 2:11pm

Much more processing space for green bin items has been solidified on the mid-island.Dominic Abassi/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO — A long-term contract will keep significantly more kitchen scraps and grass clippings out of the regional landfill.

The Regional District of Nanaimo (RDN), which is responsible for garbage and organic waste disposal on the mid-island, has an agreement- in-principle for a 20-year contract with Circular Waste British Columbia.

The company is amalgomating with Duke Point based Nanaimo Organic Waste (NOW), to process compost locally.

Charlotte Davis, the City of Nanaimo's manager of sanitation, recycling and public works, told NanaimoNewsNOW long-term security is essential in properly putting kitchen and yard waste in the right place.

“We have seen just by collecting kitchen waste alone that we've diverted 50 per cent more of our waste away from the landfill compared to when we were taking garbage alone,” Davis said.

She said the long-term deal is leading to substantial upgrades to the company's infrastructure. Improved grinders, for example, will for allow more than just grass clippings and leaves to be broken down.

“Once the upgrades have been made we'll be able to let our residents know that they'll be able to put more woodier items out at the curbside for collection.”

Davis said the City is hopeful an option for residents to acquire a larger green bin will be available next year. Currently the larger bin option is only available for garbage and recycling as part of the new automated collection service, which Davis said will be rolled out city-wide this summer.

Larry Gardner, RDN solid waste manager, said the new deal for organic waste disposal is a “significant development” in pushing the the mid-island's waste diversion rate upward from the current 68 per cent to their target of 90.

“If you're going to divert organic material from the waste stream you need a facility that has the capacity and capability of managing it.”

Gardner noted the new deal with NOW is three-times as long as previous ones, providing more certainty.

Gardner said the City of Nanaimo accounts for half of the 15,000 tonnes a year in organic waste produced on the mid-island between Cedar and Bowser.

Dave Hammond, part-owner of NOW, said upgrades to their facility over the next 18 months will allow upwards of 40,000 tonnes of organics to be processed annually.

He said a much higher quality product will be produced as a result of joining forces with Circular Waste, which includes vastly improved odour control.

He noted processed organics are re-used in a variety of ways around Vancouver Island, including as infill for developers.


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