Nelson council skeptical about regional compost plan

But no decision has been made on city’s involvement

Nelson council is reluctant to sign on to a region-wide organic waste composting plan. The city has not made a final decision about whether to get involved.

Council may want to go for a made-in-Nelson solution rather than the plan (attached below) proposed by the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) for the region. Council is afraid Nelson would end up paying a disproportionate share of the regional cost.

Also, council is not sure that trucking organic waste across the region is the best way to reduce greenhouse gases. The RDCK’s preferred central site for compost processing is the old landfill site near Salmo.

These ideas were aired at a Dec. 13 budget meeting at which there was a strong case made for Nelson declining to be involved in the RDCK program.

This was brought to council on Jan. 7 for a vote, but it was not voted on because councillor Brittny Anderson, who had not been at the Dec. 13 meeting, opposed this decision and convinced council that it should wait until the city attends an RDCK curbside composting workshop in February to learn more about the RDCK’s plans.

Councillor Janice Morrison, who sits on the RDCK board as the city’s representative, was also not at the Dec. 13 meeting.

The city’s finance manager Colin McClure told council that the estimated cost of involvement in the RDCK composting program is about $260,000 per year.

“There was concern about the cost-benefit,” McClure told the Star this week. “With an estimated cost based on our current [garbage and recycling] collection of close to $7,000 per week, that does not include any tipping fees if a separate bi-weekly pickup was required just for compost as currently the waste truck cannot not pick it up.”

Another concern was greenhouse gases.

“The councillors who were in attendance [on Dec. 13] were very interested in composting, but questioned the environmental advantage and efficiency of adding city-wide collection and then shipping it to Salmo,” McClure said.

“My fear personally is that it would be more symbolic than effective,” councillor Rik Logtenberg told the Star this week. “It is one of those things when we put it to the curb it is out of our face and out of our mind.

“What I want to have is a program that works, that moves the needle on diverting waste and ultimately producing a usable product as opposed to getting dumped and not doing anything productive with it.”

Mayor John Dooley told the Star that council was also concerned about Nelson being the largest financial contributor to the region-wide service because taxation for regional services is based on assessed property values. The result could be that Nelsonites pay more than their share by subsidizing the costs for the surrounding rural areas.

“The reality is that if you look at most of the services that we are involved in with the RDCK,” Dooley said, “we are the biggest contributor financially, and we need to be cognizant of that, should we decide to go into a composting program. We need to be sure we are not going into a program that we could deliver more efficiently and more cost effectively within our own boundaries.

At the Dec. 13 meeting there was discussion about setting set up sites in Nelson where people could drop off organic waste and it could by composted and used in the community.

“There is a belief among some people on council that there is a need for people to take ownership at home, in how they purchase and store foods and discard them,” Dooley said. “There is a bigger picture here that we think needs to be explored before we go in with another partner that has a completely different geographical area they will be covering. They don’t have the densification we have, the area to cover would be large, and it will be expensive. But in the municipality we have economies of scale.”

Logtenberg said he wants Nelson to lead the country in municipal composting and suggested that there is new household technology on the horizon that Nelson could supply to homeowners.

“We would be more effective if Nelson leads it, and then we take that program and spread it outward, based on proven effectiveness,” Logtenberg said.

An updated report from the RDCK on its regional compost strategy is attached below.

Related:

Curbside compost pickup coming to Nelson by 2022

RDCK set to unveil draft compost plan

Nelson’s garbage and recycling fees unchanged for 2019



bill.metcalfe@nelsonstar.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Composting Options 2018-12-04 by BillMetcalfe on Scribd

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Social media influencers promote Fernie

MountainGirls, The Lady Alliance founders stop in Fernie on western Canada RV tour

Elk Valley mine deaths prompt safety initiatives

Teck produces educational video, introduces new procedures after contractor drowns at Fording River

Fernie SAR rescues stranded snowmobiler; buried skier

Skiers caught in Mt. Fernie avalanche; snowmobiler spends night in backcountry after breakdown

Elk Valley RCMP issues 40 traffic tickets in 21 days

Logging truck driver fined after trailer wheels catch alight

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

GALLERY: Fernie Ghostriders get their home game mojo back

Riders post 6-1 win over Columbia Valley Rockies; prepare for playoffs

Trudeau takes personal hit amid SNC-Lavalin controversy: poll

Overall, 41 per cent of respondents believed the prime minister had done something wrong in the affair

B.C. photographer captures otters on ice

A Langley photographer was at the right place at the right time on the Fraser River

Do you live with your partner? More and more Canadians don’t

Statistics Canada shows fewer couples live together than did a decade ago

B.C. child killer denied mandatory outings from psychiatric hospital

The B.C. Review Board decision kept things status quo for Allan Schoenborn

Searchers return to avalanche-prone peak in Vancouver to look for snowshoer

North Shore Rescue, Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog teams and personnel will be on Mt. Seymour

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

Most Read