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Organics collection will benefit Cowichan Valley

April 14, 2023 at 8:34 am  BC, News, Politics, Provincial

A new food and yard waste collection program is on the way for 14,000 households in the Cowichan Valley, turning waste destined for the landfill into compost.

The Province’s CleanBC Organic Infrastructure and Collection Program is providing nearly $1.9 million to the Cowichan Valley Regional District to help fund residential organics collection in electoral districts A through I.

“Communities throughout B.C. have committed to reducing their carbon footprint, including composting organic waste instead of sending it to landfills where it breaks down into harmful greenhouse gases,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Our government’s investment will provide Cowichan Valley residents with the tools they need to create a better, more resilient future for their community.”

With no district landfill, regional garbage is transported more than 700 kilometres to a landfill in Washington state. More than 30% of this garbage is organic material that could be composted locally and reused, such as in local gardens. The new service is expected to collect 1,800 wet tonnes of food waste each year and reduce the region’s greenhouse gas emissions by more than 9,500 tonnes of carbon-dioxide equivalent by 2034.

Education materials and outreach will be an integral part of the program to ensure its success. This will include the proper use of the bear-resistant bins to reduce potential wildlife conflicts and how to prevent food waste.

“This program will support the district’s solid-waste management plan, which aims to establish mandatory organics collection across the region,” said Aaron Stone, board chair, Cowichan Valley Regional District. “Curbside collection of this material will reduce our garbage management and export costs. We are just about to embark on the second phase of our public engagement for the electoral area curbside collection program, and we welcome the news about funding to support this important program for our communities.”

Launched in 2020, the CleanBC Organics Infrastructure and Collection Program is providing B.C. communities as much as $25.9 million over three years to develop or expand their ability to divert organic waste from landfills. Through cost-sharing arrangements, the funding recipients are contributing at least one-third of eligible project costs.

This program adds to the Organics Infrastructure Program, which had the provincial, federal and local governments partner to fund $30 million for the development of 16 composting facilities in British Columbia.

Learn More:

For information on the Cowichan Valley Regional District’s curbside collection plans, visit: www.planyourcowichan.ca/curbside-collection

For more information on the CleanBC Organics Infrastructure and Collection Program, visit: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/waste-management/food-and-organic-waste/organic-waste-diversion/cleanbc-organic-infrastructure-and-collection-program

To learn more about the Organics Infrastructure Program, visit: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/environment/waste-management/food-and-organic-waste/organic-waste-diversion/organics-infrastructure-program   

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